Privacy is something that is often missing on today’s Internet, and signing up for dodgy online services using your real email address is one way to have that privacy instantly violated. Whether it is spam offering you a totally fantastic sex life, or your desire to email sensitive information without being identified, you always need to create a buffer between the spammer and the “real you”.
That buffer is a disposable email address. Addresses which are instantly generated by a site for a one-time purpose and then discarded. Wikipedia has an excellent article that explains disposable email addresses at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disposable_email_address.
Some disposable email address services forward the email(s) to your real address, while others have a continually refreshing inbox on their page for you to monitor. When it is the latter, leaving the page will result in you losing access to that email address, which will be a drawback.
MakeUseOf.com has written about disposable email addresses at http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/five-free-temporary-email-services-to-avoid-spam and now has a new update that lists some newer services at http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/5-online-sources-disposable-email-addresses.
I rather like ThrowAwayMail.com as it is easy to use, generates as many new email addresses as you wish, and requires no forwarding or registration at all. That’s great for true privacy.