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Definition: disposable email

A Web-based email service that lets anyone create and use a temporary email address. For free reports and software, websites often require users to sign in with a valid email address. The site then emails a validation code to that address to authorize the download, but the address is often sold and winds up in a spam list.

Disposable email services such as www.Mailinator.com only receive mail. Anyone can use the Mailinator domain along with any made-up username as long as they expect a quick reply. Depending on the service, every message is discarded after as little as 10 minutes or as much as a couple hours.