Another option you can use is to add information to your actual e-mail address.
According to the e-mail address standards (RFC2822
), you can add information to an e-mail address which is ignored by the mail delivery system. To do this, simply add the info after the account name and before the @ symbol using the + sign. Like this:
The actual address is firstname.lastname@example.org
and will be delivered to that mailbox. The added info "foobar" is ignored by the mailer daemon. You can use this along with a custom filter to automatically redirect incoming mail to a specific folder or to delete it upon arrival.
Some e-mail providers (like Yahoo) don't support this aspect of the standard, however I know that GMail does.
Using Gmail, for example, I could set up a filter that said any mail sent to email@example.com
get sent to my Bleeping Computer folder. Or, should Grinler one day piss me off (unlikely, I think; he's too nice, and charming and hansom and smart and...) I could change the filter to automatically delete such messages without me ever seeing them.
The point of all that is so that you can sign up on a website and use an address like billybob+Spam@gmail.com
and create a filter which moves all mail sent to billybob+spam@gmail
to your spam folder.
Or, you can use the site's name instead to see whether that site is selling your address to spammers. If you start getting a lot of spam addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org
, then you'll know that Grinler has likely been replaced by an evil android who is selling user's information (I consider this to be a valid concern and urge Grinler to invest in some ant-evil-anrdoid spray.)
Of course there are websites which don't support this standard, just like some e-mail providers don't. Yet another argument on why standards-compliance is an important thing. Even so, it's a nifty trick to add to your arsenal.