You can send an anonymous email in several ways, for example through a new account or an anonymous email service. An anonymous email hides your IP address, metadata, and other identifying information, meaning that your message can’t be traced back to you. To further strengthen your online privacy, get a comprehensive security solution like Norton 360 Deluxe, which features a built-in VPN to encrypt your connection and help prevent the messages you send and receive from being intercepted.
If you need to send an email that you don’t want your name attached to, you can create a new email account using a pseudonym and provide as little information about yourself as possible. For example, you won’t want to provide a backup email address or a phone number.
However, this isn’t the only step, especially if you’re opening an account with a common email service like Gmail. These providers usually track the activity on an account, including IP addresses and the attachments you send, and they might be required to hand over this information to law enforcement.
Using a VPN with a new email address can cover your IP address and make it more difficult for others to trace it back to you.
2. Create a burner email account
A burner email account is a new email account that is specifically created to be used for a short period of time before it is deleted. A few services provide these kinds of accounts, but it’s still a good idea to use a VPN and not provide personally identifiable information when creating the account.
You can also start a burner account on a normal email provider and delete it or forget it as soon as you’ve sent the messages you need to send. A few burner services allow you to send email without an account, further reducing the ways it could be traced back to you and improving anonymous email security.
3. Use a VPN to hide your IP address
A VPN creates an encrypted path between the devices you’re using to access the internet and a secure remote server. By routing your online activity through this server, the VPN hides your IP address, making it harder for other people to track your activity or intercept your data. Many VPNs also encrypt your browsing to further prevent tracking and identification, and the best ones also won’t keep records of your online activity (no-log VPNs), which means there’s nothing to provide law enforcement in case of a legal order. Norton Secure VPN offers powerful encryption and has a no-log policy to help you browse the internet and send emails more safely.
Anonymous email services don’t require your name or other information to create an account, and some let you send an email without an account at all, making sending messages safely easier. Some automatically encrypt each message, while others mask your IP address as the messages move through their servers. If you want to use AnonEmail, Proton, or another one of these services, compare their features to find which one provides you with the security you need.
There are other providers out there that can offer the same protection, so do your research before choosing.
5. Encrypt and remove metadata from files
Encrypting any important information is a good idea, whether it’s sensitive or not. Encryption puts another shield between hackers and your private data by scrambling the information so only a specific user can unscramble it. Encryption is especially vital if you need to send attachments through email anonymously.
One of the biggest selling points of using anonymous email services is their encryption, but even the big mail services allow you to encrypt your emails. It’s important that you use end-to-end encryption to avoid having your messages viewed or tracked in transit.
Removing metadata from the files you’re sending is another way to remove links between that data and you. It can be as simple as taking and sending screenshots of documents (provided that your screenshot app isn’t attaching more metadata) or you can remove the metadata manually by right-clicking on the file, looking at its properties, and clicking the box that removes personal data from the file.
Send anonymous emails safely
Protecting yourself online doesn’t stop with keeping your emails safe. If you want to prevent spying and limit your exposure to hackers, it pays to sign up for protection with Norton 360 Deluxe. Along with ironclad protection against malware, viruses, and hackers, Norton 360 Deluxe has a built-in VPN to help you secure the personal data you send and receive and use the internet more safely.
If you have some more questions about anonymous email, we have answers.
Is Gmail secure?
For most things, yes. While you might not be able to send a truly anonymous email from a Gmail account without creating a secondary email account, using a VPN, and ensuring any attachments are free of metadata, it will be safe for most uses.
How do I send an anonymous email in Outlook?
You’d have to create a new account on the Outlook site (not the client) using information that can’t be traced to you and then send your messages using a VPN.
Can you send an anonymous email with Gmail?
You can, if you start a new account with a pseudonym, use a VPN, and remove any metadata from attachments.
How do I hide my email address when sending an email?
With most email services, you can’t hide your email address when sending an email. Some anonymous services will send an email from a temporary address, but there still needs to be a sender for an email to be delivered.
Can I send email anonymously with attachments?
Yes, if you remove any metadata from the attachments and send the email from an anonymous account using a VPN.
Is sending anonymous emails legal?
Yes, as long as you aren’t sending messages that break the law.
Can you find out who sent an anonymous email?
If an email was sent to you anonymously, you probably won’t be able to figure out who sent it unless you involve ISPs and maybe even the authorities. But you may be able to see who a sender is by checking the “Reply-To:” section in the full, original email message or by using their IP number to track them down.
Why would someone need to send an anonymous email?
There are lots of reasons:
They are a whistleblower who needs to distribute information.
They live in a country where communications are restricted.
They are a journalist or activist potentially dealing with sensitive data.
They want their important personal information kept safe.
When the stakes are high, and the consequences of your email being hacked or intercepted are a serious risk, being able to send an email anonymously is important.
Ellie Farrier is a Prague-based cybersecurity writer interested in how technology and society overlap, especially the impacts of device security. Previously, she worked as a technical writer, diving into product troubleshooting, how-to guides, and tech usability.
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