Hiding your email address

I am thinking of starting a webpage and, for now, I would like not to post my email there. However, I want people who want to contact me (probably nobody since nobody will know about, but whatever) to be able to do it. I have thought of using my Mastodon account, that is fine, but what if they don’t have Mastodon?

One solution would be an email redirection address, for instance, mywebsiteemail@example.com which would then redirect it to myrealemail@example.com. This way, if anything were to happen with spam or anything else unwanted, I could just “throw the address away”. However I don’t want to spend any premium aliases on this.

Another work-around is having post a form on my website and then a third-party who would get it sent there and then they would email me (an example of this is https://formspree.io/, but it shows the email on the source HTML and also have no idea how private they are, but you get what type of service I’m talking about). That could also work.

Finally, I could also have a link to another page and then they would have their own form (also a third-party, example: https://tutanota.com/blog/posts/tutanota-launches-secure-connect-encrypted-contact-form).

I don’t need huge amount of encrypting but I would rather have a privacy respectful site do it.

My question is what service would you use? (I would use Tutanota but I don’t want to spend money on something I probably won’t use that much, also I am not super concerned on encrypting for military purposes, and more on the website being ethical with the data).

PS: As of now, the website will be static and hosted on GitLab, that’s why so much trouble with third-parties.
PS2: Any other alternatives not posted here are also welcome!

protonmail is very good for working so yeah pick up a protonmail email with PGP key (kleopatra)

It all depends on the level of privacy you need. The Tutanota webform you mentioned is an ideal way to do it, however it’s rather expensive. It’s meant to allow anybody in the world to contact you in a completely anonymous and encrypted way. Including sending you files. It is probably overkill for you.

I have no knowledge of web development. Therefore I don’t know how easy it is to embed a contact form. Formspree (which I do not know) does seem like the sort of service you need.

If you only want to display an email address, you could use a remailer such as 33Mail. Displaying a 33Mail address does not look very professional, however. It all depends on your type of site. You could always create a specific Gmail account for that.

Using a contact email attached to your own domain would be better.

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That would be the best, unfortunately, it is not viable for now.

It would, however, the email appears on the website’s source code.

I think probably a cheaper way to get something like Tutanota’s Secure Connect would be the best approach.

This is probably what I’d do if I were you. But personally I’ve just accepted that email is pretty much public information so I just give it out to whoever wants it (jonah@triplebit.net btw guys) and honestly haven’t had too much of a spam problem. I do have a secret email I only give to a small number of people just in case but it hasn’t been too much of a problem. I’m assuming you don’t need complete anonymity or you probably wouldn’t be using email at all.

If you have to pay for email mailboxes or aliases you should probably find another provider :stuck_out_tongue:

I’m not sure what you mean by that.

It would be helpful if you described the type of site you want to make, and what you want to protect against.

It’s a bit puzzling you say you don’t want to use an email attached to your own domain. Why ?

As for a cheaper Tutanota-like solution, what you will find is a much more expensive equivalent, such as Secure Drop. This entails buying specific hardware, and to give you an idea, it’s meant for the likes of the New York Times.

Are you a New York Times competitor ? Do you want to start the next Wikileaks ? We need some more information there.

It is nothing like that haha. For now I will probably have a little blog and nothing else (probably, but this kind of stuff). The blog will be more FOSS-oriented than privacy oriented. I want people to be able to contact me about my posts and all that, I am just a little reluctant to post my email publicly. That is why I am trying to find alternatives.

The problem with Formspree is that I would have the following code in my HTML:

<form action="https://formspree.io/email@domain.tld" method="POST">
  <input type="text" name="name">
  <input type="email" name="_replyto">
  <input type="submit" value="Send">
</form> 

So my email would still be public, I would rather just have it completely available than “hide” it in the HTML code.

I could use it with a 33mail address, so users don’t see it (and think it is my email address). If someone was to find it and use it in a harmful way, I could just change it without “breaking” the any email address since nobody would have it saved (because it is hidden).


So to recap, if I could have this 33mail and Formspree combined into one is what I was looking for, but this will probably do the trick.

I understand. Many bloggers I follow have a “mail me” link. They just use a regular email address.

If you bury an email address inside your HTML, I think there’s very little chance that a spammer trying to scrape addresses off the Web will take the trouble to devise a bot to that effect. As for individuals doing it by hand, I wouldn’t be too afraid of that.

What’s important is that the public-facing address is a dedicated one, not one you use privately ; that you have a good spam filter at the receiving end, and that you are able to change the address easily if it ever gets too polluted.

The Tutanota webform is definitely overkill for your needs.

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