Hotmail email aliases to tackle unwanted emailNew protection against 'opt-in' marketing

07 February 2011

Hotmail Alias

You can have up to 15 aliases at the same time.

Microsoft has announced a new feature for its Hotmail email service that aims to curb nuisance marketing emails.

The service, called 'Aliases', means that users can create temporary email addresses that point to their accounts without revealing their true address.

"Let’s say you’re in the market for a new car," wrote the Director of Windows Live Product Management in a blog post. 

"There are a bunch of websites that will email you price quotes, sales alerts, etc. During your car search, these messages are helpful, but once you’re done, they become clutter that can be difficult to stop." 

"By using an alias on these websites instead of your main email address, you can avoid this. And when you’re done, just turn the alias off, ensuring future unwanted messages that are sent to that alias don’t land in your inbox."

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Hotmail users can create five aliases per-year, and have 15 running in total at any one time.

Which? advises against ISP email

Hotmail is one of many online email providers - others include Google Gmail and Yahoo Mail - available for free. A poll conducted by Which? Conversation last year revealed 55% of people use an ISP email address, versus 30% who use a webmail provider. 

Which? broadband expert, Ceri Stanaway, advises it is better to use webmail or your own domain name than be tied to an email address provided by your ISP. 

"As the shutdown of UK Online last year proved, using an ISP's email service can be a risk if it later closes or withdraws the service. It also discourages people from switching broadband providers. Hotmail and similar services typically just as many features and greater flexibility, and this latest addition is just another reason to make the switch."

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