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Gmail supports "plus" addressing

This means that if your gmail address is [email protected], you can send an email to [email protected].

This is a great little known feature, because you can use it to identify which websites are selling your email info to spammers.  For example, lets say you want to fill out a sweepstakes form on and it asks for your email address.   Instead of  telling them your address is [email protected], tell them it is  [email protected].  That way you know that any email that is sent to that address ([email protected]) ORIGINATED in some way from - either the email is from them, or they sold you out and gave it to spammers and now you know who to blame.  And you can now set up a filter to delete all email sent to [email protected] if it's getting spamridden, making gmail accounts have automatic disposable addresses.

This is very similar to yahoo mail's "Address Guard" feature, except that you don't have to login to gmail to create the disposable address every time you want a new one.  Just add a plus sign to your username and put whatever you want after the plus sign and you've got your new address.  Pretty nifty.


Rusty Miller

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Spam Gourmet lets you create disposable, expiring (configurable) e-mail that is redirected to your real address. Note my e-mail above: The "TC" reminds me that I gave it to Technically Cool, the "20" is the total number of e-mails that I will ever allow (I can change it to zero if I receive spam and that address will never be forwarded - it will be "eaten", hence the name Spam Gourmet) and the "rusty" is my user name. points to Spam Gourmet, but is less likely to raise suspicion if I give it to someone face-to-face.


the only problem i see with +string is the fact that all that is needed is a software program that would strip the + to @ area of an emailaddress and they would have the true address easly, to spam


The way I see it, there are two solutions. First, GMail's anti-spam system is apparently very good.

Second, you could always use free disposable addresses from

They provide a much more advanced set of tools to keep spam away.

...and I should know. I get about two spam per year, both to a non-expiring alias (I never give out my real box) that I'm just plain too lazy to stop using.


Re: spammers stripping out the + part:

If you always use pluses from the start and never give out your "real" address, then you can block everything that doesn't have the plus part.

If you already use the "real" address, then you can take advantage of the fact that gmail ignores "." in your address. For example if you always use [email protected], then create your plus addresses as [email protected]. Then if the plus gets stripped out by spammers, you can block [email protected] and still get stuff at [email protected].

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