Allen wrote in to ask how users of Apple’s MobileMe service can create email aliases. You might be wondering what these email aliases are and with good reason: Apple basically hides the service deep in its webmail preferences. That being said, email aliases can be a wonderful addition to your MobileMe experience, as they can help reduce spam or track certain kinds of email addresses.
Email Aliases: What They Are & How They’re Helpful
We all have some sort of email address, and many of us have more than one. Maybe an address at work, one at home, and one for junk mail. Personally, I have a MobileMe address, a gmail address for friends and family, and a Yahoo! address for junk (like when I order something online).
It can be a pain to check all of these addresses, especially since some of them come through Mail.app and some are webmail applications. Email aliases can be a good alternative because they are alternative email addresses that get sent to your main MobileMe address. Let’s say your MobileMe address is firstname.lastname@example.org. You give that out to your friends and family but not to people you don’t know. At the same time, you want to start selling some items on eBay, and you’d like messages from buyers to come to your MobileMe address without the buyers actually seeing your real address.
With MobileMe aliases, you could create a new address, such as email@example.com. When someone writes an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, it will actually go to email@example.com, but they won’t know that. If you’ve set up your MobileMe address in Mail, or if you use MobileMe’s webmail, your email alias will appear in the email address pop-up menu when you create a new message, allowing you to send email from the alias. Thus, email aliases provide a great way to “test the waters” with someone (or some business) before giving them your real address.
If you start receiving spam, you can turn off your email alias, which means the spam will stop coming in, but your original firstname.lastname@example.org will not be affected. With MobileMe, you can have more than one alias, so you can set up them according to your needs (say, one each for eBay, Craigslist, mailing lists, and mail order). So how do you set aliases up and manage them? To the web!
Setting up Email Aliases through MobileMe Webmail
The first thing you need to do is go to www.me.com and log into your MobileMe account. If you’re not a member of MobileMe, you can learn more about it by clicking here. Once you’ve logged into your account, you will be taken to your webmail page, which looks like this:
From here, you want to click on the gear button to bring up its menu, then click on Preferences:
Once you bring up the Preferences window, you can click on the Aliases tab and click the Create Aliases button to make a new alias:
From here, we have just one more screen to work on, and we’re done! As you can see below, I’ve numbered the tabs 1-4 to show you what you can edit.
- Here’s where you type what you want the email alias to be (if you type ebay_smith, your alias becomes email@example.com).
- Below #2, you can (optionally) type what name you want to appear when someone receives an email from your alias.
- You can also (optionally) select a color for the alias. When you receive email from the alias’s address, it will appear in your inbox highlighted with that color.
- Click Create to finish this task.
Now that you’ve created an email alias, feel free to give the alias out to whomever you like or use it with mailing lists. If you want to delete an alias, follow the above instructions to go into the webmail preferences and click on Aliases. From that same window, you can delete existing aliases. Remember: if you delete an alias, any email sent to the alias’s address will be rejected by the MobileMe server, and you will not receive the email. Think carefully about who is using your alias before you delete it!
Did this tutorial work for you? Have better advice on using multiple email addresses or reducing spam? Let others know in the comments!