For a while, I’ve been creating an email alias for every site that I have to create an account for.
For example, let’s say that my email address is email@example.com. When I went to DreamHost.com and made an account for them, I would create an alias such as:
firstname.lastname@example.org > email@example.com
Email that was sent to firstname.lastname@example.org would show up in my email@example.com inbox.
Why? If DreamHost.com ever sells my email, I know exactly who is selling my email address. When they do sell it, I can redirect all mail to that address to my junk account instead of blocking each spammer as my email is resold. Basically, I could set a rule to block the To address instead of every new From address.
Anyway, it was easy enough to do for me cause I know how to do it, but then I told some of my family about how I prevent spam mail and they got excited and wanted to do it too. Of course, I wasn’t comfortable giving them admin access to my server so they could alias their email addresses, so I did some digging in the interwebs and found some interesting information referencing sub-addressing.
Wow! Now, I don’t even have to log into the server to alias my address for each website! It’s like auto-aliasing:
firstname.lastname@example.org > email@example.com
How do I know if my email server supports sub-addressing? Try it!! Examplefirstname.lastname@example.org would be a good test. Apparently, some sub-addressing support hyphens as well, so you might want to try email@example.com. If either (or both) show up in your inbox, you’ll know it works! How cool is that?
The best part is, I don’t have to subject my email server to people who don’t really know what they are doing.
- Well … it is a supported/used syntax, so it’s possible that a hacker/email-seller/email-buyer could filter the plus (+) syntax off and just send the email to firstname.lastname@example.org. I guess at that point you’re no worse off than before …
- “Some mail servers violate RFC 5322, and the recommendations in RFC 3696, by refusing to send mail addressed to a user on another system merely because the local-part of the address contains the plus sign (+)” (Ref: Wikipedia). This has a few implications:
- Some mail servers will not send to your address with the plus (+) sign despite thespecifications.
- Some web sites may consider the plus (+) sign to be invalid despite the specifications.
For those using Vertigion.com email …
We support the plus (+) syntax, and will continue to support the plus (+) syntax after our email migration.