A tradecraft guide on how to create and use burner emails for OPSEC and anonymity for professional and civilian use.

As a covert operative or vigilant civilian, there’s a necessity of maintaining one’s anonymity in this digital age. One of the most critical aspects of protecting your identity online is the use of burner emails.

Much like burner cell phones, a burner email is a temporary, disposable account that is not connected to your real identity in any way.

      Uses of Burner Emails

Burner emails, or disposable email addresses, offer a range of practical uses, especially when it comes to protecting your online privacy and security.

  Temporary Communication:   If you need to communicate with someone online but don’t want to reveal your real email address, you can use a burner email as a short-term solution.

  Protecting Your Primary Email From Data Breaches:   By using a burner email for less secure websites and services, you reduce the risk of your primary email address being exposed in the event of a data breach.

  Avoiding Spam:   When signing up for online services, newsletters, or promotions, using a burner email can help keep your primary inbox free of unwanted spam or marketing emails.

  Protecting Your Identity:   By using a burner email, you can keep your real email address private, preventing it from being linked to your online activities and reducing the risk of identity theft or targeted cyberattacks.

  Testing or Signing up For Services:   If you want to try out a new service, app, or website but don’t want to commit to providing your primary email address, a burner email offers a temporary solution.

  Online Forums and Communities:   When joining online discussion forums or social media platforms that don’t require a verified email address, you can use a burner email to maintain your anonymity.

  One-time Use Situations:   For instances where you need an email address to receive a one-time activation link, password reset, or confirmation, a burner email can serve that purpose without revealing your personal email address.

It’s important to remember that while burner emails can offer increased privacy and security in certain situations, they’re only as good as your ability to not let them connect to anything identifying to you.

      Selecting a Burner Email Service

Before creating a burner email account, you’ll need to choose a reliable email service that specializes in providing temporary, disposable accounts. Some popular options include:

These services offer varying features, such as self-destructing emails, custom domains, and inbox duration. Select one that best suits your needs and operational requirements.

      Creating a Burner Email Account

To create a burner email, follow these simple steps:

  1)   Access a VPN network with the device you’ll use.

  2)   Visit your chosen email service’s website.

  3)   Generate a random email address or create a custom one (avoid using any personal information in the address).

  4)   Take note of the temporary inbox duration, as this will determine how long you’ll have access to the account.

Keep in mind that many burner email services offer public inboxes, meaning anyone with the email address can access the messages. Exercise caution when using these services and never share sensitive information.

      Using a Burner Email Effectively

To maximize your anonymity and security when using a burner email, consider the following best practices:

  • Avoid connecting the burner email to any personal accounts or using it for personal communication.

  • Use the burner email for a specific purpose, such as signing up for a one-time service or participating in an anonymous forum.

  • Access the burner email through a secure and private internet connection, such as a VPN or the Tor network.

  • Always assume that the contents of your burner email can be traced back to you, and avoid sharing sensitive or confidential information.

      Deleting the Burner Email

Once you’ve completed your mission or achieved your purpose with the burner email, it’s essential to delete the account to remove any traces of your digital footprint.

Many burner email services automatically delete accounts after a set duration, but you can also manually delete your account if the service allows it. Remember, once the account is deleted, you won’t be able to recover any messages or information associated with it.

Burner emails are a valuable tool for maintaining anonymity and security online, particularly for operatives and those working in sensitive fields. By following the steps and best practices outlined in this guide, you can effectively utilize burner emails to protect your identity while navigating the digital landscape.

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