NameAPI is a web API
to handle people's names
in your software.

News

23.02.2021

Europe under the Microscope

Recently, around 10,000 new Turkish family names have been added to our database thanks to the...


27.01.2021

An Expanding International Team

The number one rule of data is that it needs to be accurate; needless to say, we make it our top...


12.01.2021

Numbers Don't Lie

2020 was a prolific year in terms of the expansion of our database. We focused on family names and...


09.03.2020

Exceptional Times, Smart Actions

Our freelancers are working from home to ensure the quality of our Chinese, Finnish and Moldovan...


12.02.2020

New International Collaborators!

January has been a busy month at our office, as we have several new international collaborators.


Disposable Email Address Detector

The DEA-Detector checks email addresses against a list of known "trash domains" such as mailinator.com. 

  Examples by culture:
Examples:

 

Developer: see the technical specification of the REST service. 

 

What are disposable email addresses?

DEAs are short-lived inboxes under a temporary address. Users are concerned about privacy, and in order to keep their real inbox spam-free they turn to such quick hacks.

Why you don't want them

From a user perspective, this is a legitimate move. However, you as a service provider do not want trash email addresses in your databases because your future emails won't reach the target. If you do require users to enter an email address, make sure it's not a temporary one.

How NameAPI detects them

DEA is a cat-and-mouse game. Besides the old well known domains that everyone who does block blocks, there are new domains appearing daily. Some from existing providers that swap out the domain in use to avoid the block, others from completely new providers.

Our DEA Detector is part of a larger software to classify and validate email addresses. (This software is not available as an API to the general public.)

Not only do we detect DEA, but instead classify the domain names into freemail, ISP, organization, etc. A misclassification of a popular domain like yahoo cannot happen. In a log analysis from 2015, 92% of all email addresses could be classified, out of which 0.265% were disposables.

On domain level

We maintain our own base lists of human-verified domain name classifications. (The internet offers plently of dea lists, but most of them contain errors, and some are serious.)

New domains added by existing trashmail providers become visible as soon as they are put in use. And that's where we get them, almost instantly. Then we use crowd-sourced and user-contributed data to block new domains in real time. And finally we analyze the logs periodically to classify the most popular yet unknown domains.

On mail server level

Some providers of temporary email addresses change their domain names frequently to avoid the blocklist, but re-use the same mail servers, and their mail servers' only purpose is for temporary addresses.

Suggestions on handling the API results

In rare cases it may happen that we have a not too popular domain name categorized as disposable when in fact "freemail" is the better category. 

To cope with this risk:

For new account signups etc, you can refuse disposable email addresses. As a result, the user can fall back to his real address, which will usually be a freemail address such as gmail. You may want to store a flag in the record that the signup attempt was with a disposable. Alternatively you can silently accept and flag it. 

If you clean up existing records, we suggest to either send an account verification email, or to disable the accounts with disposable addresses as a first step. If you get legitimate complains from users of the same domain name then you still have the chance to manually review and re-activate a certain domain.