Protect Private Email Addresses In Thunderbird

Martin Brinkmann
Apr 29, 2010
Updated • Sep 14, 2016
Email, Thunderbird

Chance is you have more than one email address. Many Internet users do, usually one private and one work related email, or a private email address and a public one.

Some, especially webmasters and developers can have more than two email addresses. If you got more than one you may have experienced a situation where you sent an email to someone or even multiple recipients using the wrong email account.

Say you sent work related emails using your private account, or a work account to sent private emails.

While you can get around this by separating email addresses by program, for instance by using Thunderbird for all private emails, and Gmail or Outlook for all work related emails, it is not that comfortable.

PrivateID Reloaded

PrivateID Reloaded for Thunderbird 3 has been designed to warn users before emails are sent on their way. The extension maintains a list of private email IDs and address books that it will compare against all emails.

Basically, what it does is link email addresses that you use to address books. These addresses are whitelisted then, and you won't get any warnings if the extension finds a match.

It is possible to specify email addresses or strings during configuration. The latter enables you to match domains so that all addresses are matched automatically without you having to type each individually.

The program displays warnings if recipients are not found in address books linked to the "from" email address.

It is still possible to send emails to recipients, but the warning gives you the option to rethink that step. It is for instance possible to opt out and change the email account the messages are send from.

PrivateID Reloaded can be downloaded from the Mozilla Thunderbird extension repository. The add-on is compatible with Thunderbird 1.5 to 3.0.x.

Update: The script has not been updated for a year and is no longer compatible with Thunderbird. It therefore has been pulled from the official add-on repository. There is no comparable extension available at the time of writing that you could use instead to avoid using the wrong email account when sending out emails in Thunderbird.

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PrivateID Reloaded
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  1. DanTe said on April 30, 2010 at 4:49 am

    I usually just set my Yahoo mail to use a disposable address as a return address. Than I send my emails with a TO: junk@no.where and all the recipients under the BCC. This way if any of the recipients forward the missive, nobody else’ email get mass distributed along with it.

  2. Ale said on April 30, 2010 at 12:24 am

    Another useful extension I use for that situation is Border Colors, qhere you can select different border colors for each account.

    1. Martin said on April 30, 2010 at 1:24 am

      Border Colors is nice as well, I have reviewed it in the past ;)

  3. Paul(us) said on April 29, 2010 at 8:54 pm

    Did you mean PrivateID reloaded with The Firefox add-on link

    1. Martin said on April 29, 2010 at 9:36 pm

      Yes, thanks and added.

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