Before it became a URL shortener, chl.li was [a research project / a concept]. It is a tool for security researchers and investigators in order to generate throw-away email addresses. We at chl.li believe that every serious investigator should have an anonymous throw-away address for their use in public forums or communities where you don't know if the operator of that service might be logging all your communication with other users.
## Preamble: Why you need e-mail addresses This is important to understand!
Why? Because it allows other people to communicate with you without them knowing who you are . You can take advantage of this so they can ask questions or provide feedback anonymously .
For example, someone on an internet forum posts some random story. You are interested but don't want to get involved personally because he or she might recognize you for another reason, not necessarily related to the thread.
You provide them with your throw-away email address/URL shortener, they send an anonymous message there and ask their question. You answer by sending an anonymous reply via the same chl.li service. No one can connect you with each other!
This is a very simple example , which doesn't need many e-mail addresses anyway . But what happens when you want to participate in a very active community? Let's say that you are asked questions about programming or something else that interests you ? This requires more than 1 email address to maintain anonymity all the time .
## Why chl.li specifically?
chl.li has been created and is maintained by a single individual with a sole mission: to anonymize as many people as possible on the internet, no strings attached . For this purpose, we have built some useful features that we will be describing later on.
We wanted something that was really easy to use , yet secure enough to make it work for most users. At first, we were using my own domain @sebsauvage.net but then someone pointed out that even though I am using Let's Encrypt certificates, the fact that I am reselling them from another company posed security problems since most people associate a reseller with a company rather than an individual person.
After this experience, we realized that perhaps it would be better to use a .li domain instead. This is why chl.li was created in the end: easy and secure for everyone! We really believe that security should not come at the cost of an overcomplicated user interface; it needs to be transparent and simple to use, or nearly impossible for anyone else but you .
## How can I get started?
It's very simple: just go to and click on the big pink button "Register" in the middle of your screen. You will be asked to create a username which has between 4 and 30 characters (which includes digits, letters and underscores). We advise against using personal information in your username (first and last name, etc...) or in the password: keep it simple like you would with a "normal" e-mail address.
After this is done, you will be sent an e-mail with a verification link. Click on it and log in to your newly created account with the login credentials you provided earlier. That's it! You now have one chl.li URL shortener email address!
You can create more of them if you want by clicking on the "+ New Address" button at the top right of any page. Keep in mind that each new email address uses one of your 50 credits which we will explain later . If you don't want to create any more chl.li accounts, don't worry: you can also use the ones you already created in a roundabout way, see below.
## chl.li account management
To edit your chl.li account data (which is equivalent to an e-mail address), just click on your username at the top right corner of the screen and then click on "Edit profile". You can change both your username and password from that same page. Keep in mind that this will not be visible by everyone visiting your profile page: only someone who knows how to use it will be able to update these values which we consider very important security features - but they may also enable others to trick you into revealing personal information about yourself! You have been warned , so please keep them private.
To delete your chl.li account at any time, just click on the small trash can icon next to your username and confirm by clicking "Delete my account". The data associated with this email address will be permanently deleted from our servers once we have successfully received this request - no turning back!
## Using chl.li URLs in a private way
chl.li URLs are meant for a specific type of people: those that don't want their e-mail address to be automatically submitted when they post comments or reply to articles/questions where their opinion is requested . For example, if you post a question on stackoverflow using one of these links as your main link, there's no risk someone will subscribe you to some random newsletter by clicking on your address.
Of course some people do want that , but that's not the case of most chl.li users who are concerned about their privacy. That's why we decided to add a new "private mode" for all links created with chl.li which is enabled by default if you are using Firefox or Chrome . It works in basically all major browsers except Safari where it depends on the NoScript plugin - but since NoScript can also be used to force people to login via your favorite social network, this option only makes sense if you don't use these features!
If you ever decide you want to share one of your previously created private URLs , just click on the "ordered list" icon next to it and click on "unprivate". Your chl.li URL will be created as public from now on so anyone can access the content behind it without being forced to login or provide any personal information .
## Credits, transactions & money
In order to have a free chl.li account, you need to buy credits at least once by clicking on the "spend some money" button next to your username. You get 50 free credits when using Firefox , 100 with Chrome and unlimited ones if you use one of these two browsers: Opera or Chromium . This is done in order to provide a safer user interface for our non-tech savvy users who certainly don't want their data scattered all over the Internet after buying something! Note
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