Sunday, 14 November 2010

Customised Gmail Addresses Allows You to Fight Spam

You may have heard of this trick or seen it in action, basically you can customise your Gmail and Google Apps Email address by adding +’s and .’s to your email address and still receive emails sent to that address.

For example, if your email address was ilovehk200@gmail.com, you can still receive email at ilovehk200+newsletters@gmail.com or i.love.hk.200@gmail.com. Of course if you are using Google Apps gmail.com would be your own domain name. When the email is received the "+newsletter" remains with the email address you receive.


Now why is this useful?

Well every time you enter your email address to sign up for a web based service you are open to spam as we all know in Hong Kong you cannot even trust the largest companies in Hong Kong not to sell or distribute your email address, e.g. the distrusting behavior of Octopus in 2010. So using something like ilovehk200+octopus@gmail.com, you can achieve a couple of things:
  1. track where your email address was sourced from, e.g. you could prove Octopus actually shared your email address.
  2. you can use filters in your Gmail inbox to file the emails or just delete them.
Get creative with your customized email addresses—but don’t create so many that you can’t remember how to log in to your frequently visited websites. Here are some ideas to get you started:

* username+bills@gmail.com
* username+newsletters@gmail.com
* username+socialmedia@gmail.com
* username+notifications@gmail.com
* username+contact@gmail.com
* username+donations@gmail.com
* username+notes@gmail.com
* username+contests@gmail.com
* username+websitename@gmail.com
* username+evite@gmail.com
* firstname.lastname@gmail.com

So this is a great technique to remember to help manage your incoming email weather it is unwanted spam or subscribed services. Use the "+" and the"." more often!

1 comment:

  1. This is an awesome idea Andrea and I am going to have our Philippine teams who use our address for many things customize it today on our Google Apps email to do this as it will certainly cut down on spam for sure.

    ~Clint
    @cazoomi

    ReplyDelete