There's one thing that websites and apps want more than anything else: Your email. They want it to be able to send you spam (called "newsletters") or in the worst case to sell it to other spammers. There is absolutely no reason to share your real email address with every single site that asks for it.
Flashbox can be used in many ways, but the main purpose is to let you use a made up (but working) email address when signing up at various websites.
You don't have to register an address on Flashbox before giving it out. All emails that are sent to a Flashbox address will be delivered to the inbox of that address. So when signing up at a website that wants your email, just enter any Flashbox address (ending with flashbox.5july.org), and come back here to check the inbox of that email address.
Keep in mind that all email addresses can be checked by everyone who knows that address or who enters it at random. There are no passwords! Choose a complicated address to minimize the risk that someone else chose the same address.
Flashbox emails are automatically deleted after a certain time. You can't send emails with Flashbox and you can't receive emails with attachments. Flashbox is a simple service, designed to be used and abused. And to protect your privacy.
To see what an inbox full of emails looks like, check the address "demo", which subscribes to a number of newsletters.
Plain text or HTML emails are allowed, but must be less than 1000k in length. Emails with attachments are returned to sender with the message "No attachments allowed".
An inbox can hold at most 200 messages, and any inbox which does not receive a message within 720h will be automatically cleared. Additionally, there is a finite amount of space to store all of the messages in all Flashbox inboxes, so any particular inbox that has not recently received a message may be cleared to make room for more active inboxes.
Emails are checked by multiple spam filters, so Flashbox inboxes won't be flooded by spam. For example, mail servers are checked to ensure that they aren't flooding Flashbox with connections, or have bad spam reputations, or are listed on any of multiple network-based blacklists. Also, message subjects are checked to make sure Flashbox isn't getting bombarded by the same message over and over again.
All connections are greylisted at first. This means that if Flashbox hasn't communicated with a certain mail server before, there might be a delay of between 15 minutes and one hour before an email reaches your inbox.Important: Do not use special characters in the email address you choose! We have discovered that "donald_duck" and "donald-duck" will result in the same alias. Avoiding special characters is a good way to sidestep this problem. Also, aliases always begin with "D-", so avoiding special characters in your main address means you will not by accident choose someone else's alias address as your main address. (If someone would choose an existing alias as their main address by accident, no emails will be delivered to that inbox. However, this is only a theoretical risk, since it would be very hard to come up with a sequence of characters that happen to already exist in someone else's alias address!)
Flashbox is run by the 5th of July Foundation in Sweden. Email us at info AT 5july.org.