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Personal Accounts - Disposable and Custom Aliases
Last modified on 19 May 2017 04:49 PM

This article will give more information on disposable and custom aliases for Personal Accounts. To learn more about aliases for Business Accounts, please click here

StartMail has robust support for both permanent ("custom") and disposable email aliases, in order to give you even more privacy options.

To learn more about aliases, please read the overview below, or follow this link to view a video. Please note that the video states that StartMail Personal Account owners receive 3 aliases, but we've since increased this number to 10 custom aliases. We'll update this video in the near future.

In brief, an alias allows you to send and receive email at an email address different from your master StartMail account address. These email aliases can be permanent or temporary, and unlike typical StartMail addresses, they end in "use.startmail.com" instead of "startmail.com". This is done to ensure that email aliases, of which there can be many, do not conflict with the address options available for master email addresses. As a result, an email alias (whether custom or disposable) will look similar to the format of "my_email_alias@use.startmail.com".

StartMail allows you to use two different types of aliases:

  • Disposable (where the address is system-generated)
  • Custom (where you choose your address, within some parameters)

Disposable email aliases have a maximum lifespan of 2 weeks, while Custom aliases last forever.

Importantly, aliases never display the name associated with your account in the From: field or elsewhere. Only the chosen alias is shown.

Please note that emails sent to and from disposable or custom aliases will appear in your account's Inbox and Sent folder, just like emails sent to or from your main StartMail account address. Aliases do not have their own folders. 

Why use a disposable email alias?
Let’s say you want to purchase something online (concert tickets, for instance) that requires registration. You don’t want to share your personal details, but you also don’t want to deal with the hassle of managing a separate email account. When you use an alias, the online vendor only sees your alias, but any mail gets delivered to the same StartMail inbox you already use. Once the disposable alias expires, the vendor has no way of spamming you. Your inbox stays spam-free! 

Why use Custom aliases?
Custom aliases offer many of the same advantages of disposable aliases, but with Custom aliases, you get to choose your address. They offer the same privacy and convenience, but also offer the consistency of letting you keep the addresses the same over time.

  • Personal and Companion accounts include support for 10 active custom aliases. It is possible to have more than 10 custom aliases, but only 10 can be active at any time.
  • Personal Account holders can have Custom aliases with a minimum of 3 characters. For example, xyz@use.startmail.com is acceptable, but vw@use.startmail.com is not.
  • Companion account holders must use a custom alias containing at least eight characters with two numbers, or a minimum of 12 characters.


Creating aliases
Users will have to sign in with StartMail on the Web. It is not possible to create an alias through an email client.
To begin, navigate to https://startmail.com/login and log in to StartMail. Go to Settings > Email aliases.

To create a Custom alias, fill out the field next to "Create custom email alias:" and then click the green Create alias button to finish the process.

To create a Disposable alias, just click the green "Generate alias" button.

  • Here you may also activate and deactivate your Custom aliases by toggling the ON/OFF switch, or delete them.
  • Additionally, you may adjust the lifespan of your Disposable aliases after they have been created. 

 

 

You can also create an alias on the fly by clicking Create email alias next to the From: field when you are composing an email:

  

 

Delete aliases 

To begin, log in to StartMail on the Web and go to Settings > Email aliases.

To delete an alias, click the trash can icon next to the alias(es) you wish to delete. Note that if you delete an alias, you will not be able to re-use itIf you think you will want to re-use an alias, consider deactivating it instead.  

When you delete an alias (or its lifespan is exceeded), everything StartMail knows about the alias disappears from the system. We only store a record of a hash corresponding to the alias and use that to keep track of which aliases have been in use without recording any details about the user. The use of hashes is an established technique to store information about a piece of data without needing to retain the actual data itself. You can read more here. You can read more here. Furthermore, email sent from an alias is not traceable, even by us, back to your account once the associated system backups have expired (maximum three days). 

 
Composing a message using an alias

To send an email from an alias, choose your identity from the selection list next to the From: field (or create an email alias on the fly by clicking Create email alias) and type your message as you would normally.

 

Your email signature may also be customized by identity.  

It is also possible to send email from your alias(es) from many common IMAP clients (e.g., Thunderbird, Mail). Consult the support documentation for your client or our guide on configuring aliases with OS X Mail and the iOS Mail app.

You can also have all of your incoming emails addressed to your alias, automatically go into one specific folder. Please click here for more information.

Number of aliases that can be created
The number of disposable aliases you can make is unlimited, and each has a customizable lifespan (from 15 minutes to 2 weeks).

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