Over Christmas I built a lightweight mail service (we'll call it "mailz" — that's not its actual name) because I was tired of having to give my email address to every website/app/service that demands it. Why? Because the more places I put my email address the more likely it is someone will get it who shouldn't, and the more likely it is to be abused. I'm thinking along the lines of:
That last point I'm sure has happened many times, but there's no easy way to keep track of who has your email address.
I've tried other solutions over the years:
I just wanted to be able to signup for some things without sacrificing my privacy. I needed a "public" email address, one that it's safe to give anyone, but that had lower overhead than a full-blown email account. At the same time, it couldn't be a throw-away address.
So I built "mailz" for myself. It started out as a proof-of-concept, now I'm feeling like it could be more. It's already operational with it's most basic features working as intended, but it's definitely not ready for the public — it doesn't have a landing page, or any explanations of what it is for, or what it does.
So, what can it do so far?
Unlimited simple aliases — an alias derived directly from your "mailz", but is indistinguishable from a regular email address. I haven't come across another service that provides this feature.
Unlimited domain aliases — an alternative method to create aliases on a single-user domain, provided by "mailz".
Automatic deletion — because the majority of emails have a short lifespan (offers, activation emails, notifications, etc).
User-defined deletion period — specify how long messages are kept. Mailbox remains clutter free with zero effort.
One-click forwarding — if you want to store something longer-term, send straight to your main account with one click.
Simple sign-up/log-in — via social login or magic link.
No ads — ever, because I hate ads.
No sharing of data — ever, because I believe both in privacy and the right to selective disclosure.
I also have other features planned that either aren't available from most providers, or they're unnecessarily expensive.
How is "mailz" intended to be used?
It's meant to be used as a superficial substitute. When I conceived of this idea I didn't want to get rid of my main email account, just better protect it; giving it to fewer entities is a simple way to do that.
If signing up for an app, website, or online service that you don't trust or are still evaluating, you'd use your "mailz" address instead of your personal/private one. One of the benefits is that you can use your aliases to create email addresses for specific services. If you start getting mail to an alias address from an unexpected sender, you'll know from where it was leaked or stolen. There will also be more fine-grained control around who can even send to you (or your aliases).
Any feedback on the idea would be greatly appreciated. If anyone is interested in being a pre-alpha tester (yea, it's that early), say so in the comments or drop me a message.
If you got this far, thanks so much for reading!