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Some companies demand your email address, then send you spam. I'm quite familiar with cPanel. How would I set up an anonymous email forwarder, so I can give them a valid email address, and kill that email address if the company turns into an evil spammer?

Note that to be effective, it would have to filter out any email addresses listed in the body of the forwarded email (otherwise those email addresses will end up on their spam list too).

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Should have been migrated to ServerFault or ProWeb –  Eight Days of Malaise Oct 22 '10 at 19:24
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migrated from webapps.stackexchange.com Oct 22 '10 at 20:15

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4 Answers

From your cPanel home page:

  1. Click Forwarders
  2. Under Email Account Forwarders click the Add Forwarder button
  3. Enter a one-time-use address (i.e. "company.eml") and select a domain to associate it with
  4. In the Forward to email address field enter the address you'd like to receive mail at
  5. Click Add Forwarder and (barring delivery issues beyond the scope of these instructions) you should be done
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Not cPanel specific, but I have a sub-domain with a catch-all set. Everything for @singleuse.. goes to my main mail account, so I can give CompanyX the address companyx@singleuse.. - their mail will get through to me, and if I start getting junk I can just block the address or set it to forward to the spam training account.

If you need to send mail to the company in question, as a reply to their mail or otherwise, make sure your client supports multiple identities and send out using that identity. Double-check though that your outgoing server doesn't add a "really sent by" header to outgoing mail. I find it very rare that I need to send mail like this though - most of the time the only email sent/received is the initial account activation instructions and any newsletter type mail they send out.

I'm not sure what you are meaning by "filter out addresses in the body of the email". If you don't want email addresses in the body of the email just don't type them there.

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I don't know how to send anonymous email with CPanel. But you can use http://www.secure-anonymous-email.com if you want to send anonymous email...

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I prefer to use email tags as they require no setup and only require action if you want to block them. Therefore you can use them more casually and still determine the source of any spam emails. All you have to do is put +sometag after your "local-part", e.g.

john+sketchy-mailing-list@smith.tld

In this case, sketchy-mailing-list is the tag. So when you see spam e-mails sent to john+sketchy-mailing-list@smith.tld, you know it was the Sketchy Mailing List Company that sold your email address to spammers. Then you can block all emails with that tag and report the spammers and complicit companies to the proper authorities.

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