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What is an email alias?

How to create an alias and its benefits .

With phishing and spam emails being regular security threats, it’s more important than ever to take preventive measures and protect your privacy online. One way you can keep yourself safe is to use email aliases that conceal your primary email address, preventing this identifying personal information from being leaked or sold to bad actors.

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What is an email alias?

An email alias is like an intermediary for your inbox. Once set up, it functions as a forwarding address, redirecting incoming emails to your main inbox without revealing your main email address.

An alias typically has no login or inbox. You can’t send emails directly from an alias as it is used to receive incoming emails only.

Unlike a primary email address, which is usually a fixed identity, an alias provides a layer of anonymity and flexibility. This allows you to manage communication while protecting your primary email address from unnecessary exposure.

What’s an example of an email alias?

If your primary email address is john.doe@awesomeshop.com, you could create an alias such as sales@ yourshopname.com to handle all inquiries related to sales.

Similarly, aliases like newsletters@awesomeshop.com or support@awesomeshop.com can be chosen for specific purposes, allowing you to categorise and manage incoming emails more efficiently.

What’s the difference between an alias and a forwarding address?

While both aliases and forwarding addresses are used to manage incoming emails, there are distinct differences between the two.

An alias is essentially an alternate email address that is linked to your primary email account. It masks your primary email, allowing you to give out a different email address for specific purposes without revealing your primary email.

Emails sent to an alias are typically delivered to the same inbox as your primary email, but they retain the alias in the recipient field.

A forwarding address, on the other hand, simply redirects emails to another email address. It does not create a separate identity like an alias does. Rather, it just reroutes emails from one address to another.

With forwarding, emails sent to the forwarding address are automatically forwarded to the designated recipient without retaining the original sender’s address.

What are the benefits of using an email alias?

Email aliases can make digital communication smoother. They shield your information to improve privacy, help you keep your inbox tidy, and can make it easier to manage tasks. In other words, they’re handy tools to make your email experience easier and safer. Let’s look more in-depth at each of these benefits.

Privacy and security

Using an email alias shields your primary email from spam and phishing attempts. Keeping your real email from landing in too many lists and inboxes helps you create a barrier, thus reducing the risk of your real email address falling into the wrong hands.  

If you do receive spam, an alias makes it easier to find the source of the compromise. If you notice that a particular alias is receiving high volumes of spam or phishing attempts, you can more easily identify which website, newsletter, or service was exposed to security leaks. You can then take further security precautions. You can even deactivate the compromised alias without causing any issues to your actual email.  

Inbox organisation

Email aliases contribute to keeping your inbox tidy. You can direct incoming emails to specific aliases, thus categorising them immediately. This helps you streamline your communication process and keep a clutter-free inbox.

You could create aliases for different types of emails. For example, you could create a separate alias for signing up for newsletters, or for specific product subscriptions. This would serve a dual purpose: keeping your actual primary email shielded from potential data leaks and ensuring that all newsletters arrive to one specific place.

Good for testing and short-term tasks

Email aliases provide a convenient solution for testing and managing temporary tasks. Whether you’re signing up for a trial service, testing out a new software, or purchasing an item online, using an alias ensures that your primary inbox stays uncluttered and protected.

Once the task is completed or your trial is over, you can easily shut down the alias without affecting your main email address.

How to create an email alias

Setting up an email alias is a straightforward process that might vary slightly depending on your email provider. Typically, you can create an alias through your email settings or account management options. Look for the “Aliases” or “Forwarding” section, where you can add a new alias and specify where you want emails sent to that alias to be sent.

Once set up, you can start using your alias immediately, reaping the benefits of enhanced privacy and organisation. For a more in-depth technical guide, please take a look at our excellent Help Centre article.

Tips and best practices for email aliases

Enhance your email alias management with these extra tips to maximise their effectiveness and security.

Keep track of your aliases

Maintain a record of your aliases for easy reference. Whether you note them in a document or use a dedicated alias management tool, keeping track of your aliases ensures you can manage them effectively. You can also audit them occasionally to check if any are receiving spam, dangerous emails, or just if they’re actively receiving messages anymore or not.

Combine with other good security measures and a good email host

While email aliases offer a layer of privacy and security, they work best when combined with other security measures such as two-factor authentication and encryption.

Additionally, choosing a reputable email host that prioritises security can further protect your online communication channels. one.com is a reliable host that offers robust security features to safeguard your emails and sensitive information. With a trusted email host like one.com, known for its commitment to security, you can rest assured that your online communication channels are well-protected.

Get professional with a business e-mail address

Mail professionally to all your contacts using your domain.

Buy now
  • Get access from anywhere, anytime
  • Spam and virus protection
  • Mail with your domain
  • Own webmail
  • 24/7 support
  • Ad-free

Email aliases: a key to email privacy and organisation

With emails and other personal information being leaked all the time, email aliases are vital tools for protecting yourself online. Aliases provide an added layer of privacy while also improving your inbox organisation, helping you take full control of what arrives in your inbox. As you work to optimise email management and security, it can be valuable to consider integrating email aliases into your strategy.