icosahedron152
 member, 833 posts
Fri 2 Feb 2018
at 04:25
Alternative emails
Can anyone suggest an alternative email service provider?

I've tried the Big Boys, and they all suffer from the same problem. All too frequently, they 'detect unusual activity on your account' and lock it down.

Usually, that means I've committed the heinous crime of sending an email from Starbucks!

Then they 'need' a whole bunch of personal information I didn't give them originally so they can unlock the account. It feels like ransomware to me.

I need an email provider that isn't going to shut me down every five minutes, isn't going to keep forcing me to change my password (I'll decide when to do that, thank you very much) and will provide me with an anonymous account that doesn't require loads of personal information to set it up.

However, I don't need or want something that automatically encrypts emails and makes it difficult for the receiver to read them, particularly if the receiver isn't using the same provider. I treat emails as an electronic postcard anyway - I don't write anything I don't want the postman to read!

Any suggestions, anyone? Thanks.
chromatophoria
 member, 665 posts
 Tentacles for all!
Fri 2 Feb 2018
at 05:14
Alternative emails
I DuckDuckGo searched & this turned up: https://www.hongkiat.com/blog/...ous-email-providers/
evileeyore
 member, 63 posts
 GURPS GM and Player
Fri 2 Feb 2018
at 06:14
Alternative emails
I've been with Gmail since it started and I've never had a single one of the issues you've encountered icosahedron152.



Granted I lied to them about my name, age, etc when I first joined... so... of course I don't care about giving them fake personal information.
facemaker329
 member, 6986 posts
 Gaming for over 30
 years, and counting!
Fri 2 Feb 2018
at 06:23
Alternative emails
I've been with Yahoo since...sometime in the mid-90s, I don't recall for sure when...and I've never had them lock up my account for sending emails from diverse locations...the closest I've come was forgetting my password and getting it right on the last try before they were gonna lock it up...

But, yeah.  Emailed from my friends' place 80 miles north of here.  Or a hotel in Vegas.  Or a dormroom in North Dakota.  Or a hotel in LA.  Or...well...you get the idea (yes, these are all places I've been in the last decade, some of them for work).  So I guess I'm a bad one to ask for advice because it's never been a problem for me...
evileeyore
 member, 64 posts
 GURPS GM and Player
Fri 2 Feb 2018
at 06:41
Re: Alternative emails
facemaker329:
I've been with Yahoo since...sometime in the mid-90s...

Oh yeah.  Ditto.  never an issue with Yahoo either (I keep forgetting I still have that email address - and it still works even though I haven't logged in over two years).
LonePaladin
 member, 695 posts
 Creator of HeroForge
Fri 2 Feb 2018
at 07:12
Re: Alternative emails
Heck, AOL is still around and still has an e-mail service.

As far as I know, the big ones that have been mentioned here -- GMail, Yahoo, AOL -- should allow you to make an account with nothing more than you specifying a username and password. I think all of the other identifying info (like your MeatSpace name, or location) are purely optional, though you may have to go into some settings and explicitly say no.

If you're just needing a one-time throwaway e-mail address, there's always Mailinator, but that's not good for anything secure.
Nerwen
 member, 1892 posts
 seek to understand before
 you seek to be understood
Fri 2 Feb 2018
at 16:10
Re: Alternative emails
I use gmail. Every time I log into it from a new computer/device or new location, I get emails telling me that it happened, but it doesn't cause any lockdowns. Occasionally it pesters me to add a phone number "for extra security" but there's a button to bypass. It's also easy to get around having secondary email addresses. I have three gmail accounts and they all refer to each other.
icosahedron152
 member, 834 posts
Fri 2 Feb 2018
at 16:42
Re: Alternative emails
Thanks folks.

Either you've been very lucky, or I've been very unlucky. Gmail is the latest culprit, and false info will no longer cut it, cos they no longer want me to repeat the 'secret sentence' or confirm the phone number I invented provided at the outset, they now want to send me a code by text or email before they'll open it up - which, of course, means giving them a valid phone number or email address.

Yes, I could open yet another 'anonymous' email with another provider that might function for long enough to re-open this account, but I'm just juggling more plates that way, and I don't want the hassle. Next week, or next month, I'll probably find both of them closed down.

I just want to open an account and have it stay open so I can use it, and that probably means finding an independent provider who's not on the data-gathering bandwagon.
Nerwen
 member, 1893 posts
 seek to understand before
 you seek to be understood
Fri 2 Feb 2018
at 17:40
Re: Alternative emails
Probably any independent provider who isn't data-mining is going to mean not-free.

Your ISP might provide email accounts, but I wouldn't go with those unless you like them a lot and plan to stick with them permanently. (I once paid Comcast two extra months for cable service to an apartment I no longer lived in, because I needed time to clear out my email accounts - that I'd gotten very settled into....)
icosahedron152
 member, 837 posts
Sat 3 Feb 2018
at 04:38
Re: Alternative emails
Nerwen:
Probably any independent provider who isn't data-mining is going to mean not-free.


Which means they get my bank details when I pay them...

Hey, want a laugh? You won't believe this...

So, I get one of those anonymous temporary emails linked by Chromatophoria (thanks mate, those might be very useful henceforth) and I send it to Gmail so they can post me a verification code.

They send me one of those long alpha-numeric codes, like you use for software installation, so I copy and paste it back into their request form.

Then it refuses to accept the code, telling me it should contain only a 6-digit number...

What the fruit is going on??? Why don't those fruitwits get their act together? The fruiting account is locked forever now, cos you can't get in touch with a human being at Gmail to tell them their fruiting system is fruited up!!!
Kessa
 member, 539 posts
 Dark Army:
 Out to Lunch
Sat 3 Feb 2018
at 05:48
Re: Alternative emails
icosahedron152:
They send me one of those long alpha-numeric codes, like you use for software installation, so I copy and paste it back into their request form.

Then it refuses to accept the code, telling me it should contain only a 6-digit number...


This is a long shot... but could a glitch have caused the message to repeat? If you look at it, is there a 6 digit sequence that loops? Or, anything that could be broken html tags?
icosahedron152
 member, 839 posts
Sat 3 Feb 2018
at 09:15
Re: Alternative emails
Thanks Kessa.

I figured it out. The alphanumeric string was the title of the email not the content.

However, having found the number by scrolling right to the bottom of the page <roll eyes> and entered it, I get:

Gmail cannot verify that you are the user of this email address.

And that's it. No further correspondence, no other options, if I don't give them a phone number or email address that is linked to real-world data about me, I don't get my account unlocked.

Ransomware.

So it looks like I've lost my Gmail account. Fortunately, it was a fairly new one, so I haven't lost much. This time.

I'm still hoping to find a reliable, permanent, alternative provider, though.


Anyway, note the cautionary tale folks - you're probably next. The Big Boys are getting wise to the Mickey Mouse registration details, and they want MORE.
evileeyore
 member, 65 posts
 GURPS GM and Player
Sat 3 Feb 2018
at 09:26
Re: Alternative emails
icosahedron152:
Anyway, note the cautionary tale folks - you're probably next. The Big Boys are getting wise to the Mickey Mouse registration details, and they want MORE.

I doubt it.  Facebook is even more draconian and they've never once questioned the fake name and deets I've used there.
nauthiz
 member, 554 posts
Sat 3 Feb 2018
at 09:53
Re: Alternative emails
You might have waited too long, as I think the codes are time sensitive.


The main issue is that the big providers all have systems in place to try and prevent unauthorized users from getting into your account.  That's why there's such a big push for two factor authentication (the need for the 6 digit code sent to an email or phone), since even if your name and password are compromised electronically, it's unlikely someone will be able to get access unless they also have compromised you physically.

That means, while you don't need your identity to remain anonymous, you do need an identity set up.  Either a network of email addresses that serve as verification for eachother, or a burner phone number, or something.  You can always conceal your bank details if you want to go with a pay service, or pay for anything else, by using pre-paid credit cards purchased and reloaded with cash.

Data is what these companies sell now, and safeguarding it from others is part and parcel of that.  Just a few months ago Yahoo revealed that the big data breach that happened a few years back didn't affect just some of their accounts, it affected all of them.  So the push for two factor authentication is only going to get stronger, and the only way truly anonymous, encrypted, or otherwise secure services are going to be able to exist is if they're paid for by the users.
Nerwen
 member, 1894 posts
 seek to understand before
 you seek to be understood
Sat 3 Feb 2018
at 18:15
Re: Alternative emails
Facebook does go around shutting down accounts with fake names though (or at least used to, a couple years ago). I'm not sure how they pick who to shut down - it might be via reports from other users or somesuch. To get them back, you have to give them two pieces of real-world ID with the name. (Or have a really strong argument for why you need to use that fake name - I have online acquaintances who somehow succeeded in keeping theirs that way.)

The thing that creeps me out about Facebook at the moment is, if you comment on a post made by your governmental representative, it will ask you about displaying a tag to show that you're in the rep's representational area. And ask you to confirm  your address. Which is creepy, because I've never given them my address, have no idea how they got it, and have no intention of confirming it.

In unrelated news, when I signed up for Goodreads, using Twitter was one of the options. However, once I was in, if I wanted to fully set up the account I had to give them either a Google or Facebook account (possibly other choices also, but not Twitter). So now they have both my Twitter account and a gmail address... sigh.
facemaker329
 member, 6989 posts
 Gaming for over 30
 years, and counting!
Sun 4 Feb 2018
at 00:55
Re: Alternative emails
Facebook might utilize GPS information from your phone.  And the address of the mchine you're posting from correlates to at least some limited geographical area...that's how many services know to post weather and news items relevant to your location.  So I'm not too freakex out about FB knowing it...it's not that hard to figure out, apparently...