Bring It, Spam: Hotmail Rolls Out Disposable E-mail Addresses

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Let’s face it; you’re into some weird, tasteless, mind-numbingly awful stuff on the internet. But should you have to use your own e-mail address to get access to all of it? Did we lose a war?!

Microsoft’s Hotmail service has added a new feature that lets you whip up an e-mail alias completely separate from your regular e-mail address that funnels directly into your main Hotmail account. In true Microsoft style, the feature is impossible to find but if you hover over the “Inbox” link in Hotmail, a little gear icon will appear and you can create a new alias that way.

Aside from all the weird, tasteless, mind-numbingly awful stuff you can now secretly subscribe to, Microsoft’s blog post points out a more mundane use:

“Let’s say you’re in the market for a new car. There are a bunch of websites that will email you price quotes, sales alerts, etc. During your car search, these messages are helpful, but once you’re done, they become clutter that can be difficult to stop. By using an alias on these websites instead of your main email address, you can avoid this. And when you’re done, just turn the alias off, ensuring future unwanted messages that are sent to that alias don’t land in your inbox.”

Unfortunately, you can only play the alias card five times per year. After that, you’ll have to wait to get access to new aliases. You can, however, add the plus sign to the end of your e-mail username followed by another word (, for instance) in online forms to create the same sort of effect an unlimited number of times.

Though as the post points out, “it’s still very easy to determine your actual email address and there are times when you simply don’t want to give out any part of your real email address.” The same feature works for Gmail, too.

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