A few weeks ago I was playing with Glen Maddern’s site Dumb Domains, a site that suggests ridiculous domain names based on the new batch of gTLDs recently released. There were some funny ones in there – penis.coffee and lady.farm were two of the few printable ones – but after a couple of hundred aimless clicks I hit upon Slippery.email.
That domain rekindled an idea that had been at the back of my mind for a while: there must be a faster, easier way to create burner email accounts (for avoiding spam, testing web services, privacy, etc) than going through the usual forms/verification/captcha process required by Gmail, Hotmail and others.
Plus, littering the world with more disused webmail accounts isn’t a great idea anyway – it takes usable email addresses out of the pool, and it creates more opportunities for spammers to hijack dormant accounts. What we really need is one way, receive-only email: addresses that can be used to absorb spam, but that can’t be used to generate it.
So, I registered slippery.email and started building a basic MVP site. Within a couple of days it was up and running, and I’ve been refining the basic concept ever since. The system can now handle most (all?) types of message including multi-part text and HTML messages.
One thing the system deliberately doesn’t do is decode attachments. I have no interest in Slippery becoming a way to share pirated material – by accident or by design – so I’m planning limit the system to text and HTML messages only.
One of the first steps I had to take (annoyingly!) was to register a secondary domain, slipry.net, since I found many online services were using faulty email validation that didn’t yet allow registrations from the new gTLDs. They’ll have to fix that eventually, but for now at least there’s a neat workaround.
If you have a need for burner email accounts – for privacy, for testing your new web application, or whatever – head over to Slippery and get some email addresses today!