Skip to content


Nominations are open for the AARP Purpose Prize, which honors extraordinary individuals who use their life experience to make a better future for all. Learn more.


Create Safer Email Aliases

Hide your full name in email correspondences

Your real name displays by default on emails you send from many of the major email services, so whoever you email can see your full name and your email address. Because a last name and an online people directory (like may be all it takes to find your family, look up your phone number and have a sense of your income bracket based on the location of your home, you may want to avoid having your full name display in your emails. The good news is that you can change this setting.

  1. In Windows Live (if you don't have a Windows Live Mail account, see the following tip), click the Options button on the right side of the screen (next to the Help icon with a question mark on it) and choose More Options; then continue with the steps that follow.

    Other email services have their own procedures for changing the display of your name in sent messages. If your email service displays your name, and you don't find a setting like the one in Windows Live Mail to change, email your provider or search its Help site for the proper procedure. If the provider doesn't allow you to make this change, ask it to do so, or consider changing services.
  2. Click the View and Edit Your Personal Information link.
  3. Click the Settings link on the left side of the screen.
  4. Click the Profiles link under Account Information.
  5. Click Edit Your Account Profile link.
  6. Either delete your first and/or last name or replace them with other information that doesn't identify you personally (such as Knitting Queen). You can use any alphanumeric characters (A–Z; 0–9) and any of the special characters on your keyboard except for :, <, >, ;, (, ), “, $, and !.
  7. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click Save.


Now when you send an email, only your email alias shows (or only your email address if you deleted your name and didn't create an alias).

Join the Discussion

0 | Add Yours

Please leave your comment below.

You must be logged in to leave a comment.