Gmail “Anonymizer”: Using Gmail without others knowing about it

Free email is always popular. With Gmail having been out for a while and all those nifty Google services which require a Gmail ID as a prerequisite, Gmail is more popular than ever. Couple with that its great Spam filtering and it’s no wonder why so many people use it. Even if you have your own domain or other email mailbox, the Spam protection, alone, might be a reason to switch to Gmail. Other reasons: almost unlimited mailbox size, fast searching of all your email, a single place to organize all your email, a single view to your mail organization from any email client (via IMAP), and versatile mail management via labels.

So, if you are going to use Gmail, here’s some advice on how to use it right.

  1. For pete’s sake, make sure your name is associated with your email address so that your name will show on your mail sent to others:
    1. After logging into the Gmail web-page, click the “Settings” link in the upper-right corner.
    2. Select the “Accounts and Import” tab.
    3. Under “Send mail as:” make sure there is a name associated with your Gmail email address. If not, click on”edit info” to its right and select or fill in your name.
  2. Forward or redirect all your mail from your other email mailboxes to your Gmail account (check with your email providers too see how to do that). This will all you to view all your email in one place and take advantage of Gmail’s Spam filtering.
  3. If you do not want others to know that you use Gmail, you can use any of your other email addresses as your default email address. When others hit the reply button in response to your email, it will go to that address rather than your Gmail address—and if you followed the first step, then it will arrive in your Gmail inbox, anyway.
    1. Follow the same serious of steps, above, to get to the list of “Send mail as:” settings.
    2. At the bottom of that list (there is probably only the single Gmail email address from the first step listed), click the button “Send mail from another address.”
    3. Follow the directions and enter the information for the additional email address to be managed by your Gmail account. The last step will cause Gmail to send a verification email to the email address. You will need to click on the link in that email to enable the email address to be used within your Gmail account.
    4. Select your new address as the default address by clicking “make default” to the right of your new address. New mail will automatically be sent using this address rather than your Gmail address (and replies will go back to that address).
    5. Under the list of addresses, select “Reply from the same address the message was sent to,” if that is what you want to do—I recommend this setting.

Now, new mail sent from your Gmail account will appear to be sent from your other email account and responses will go back to that account. But since email from that account is forwarded to your Gmail mailbox, it will all be managed in one place. In fact, when you send mail, you have the option to select which email address you want the email to be sent as.

Furthermore, you can set any other email program to use Gmail’s outgoing mail server (SMTP); this way, all outgoing mail will be preserved in your Gmail’s “Sent” folder, regardless of which email program you use… less thought and worry about what is where. More about this feature in a separate post.

One thought on “Gmail “Anonymizer”: Using Gmail without others knowing about it”

  1. Thanks! I did most of these things but didn’t really look at how to sort so I’ll follow directions on that.

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