If you have a Gmail account you really have unlimited email addresses.
If you use Gmail, did you know that you actually have unlimited email addresses you can use? The secret is the + symbol.
Let’s say your email address is email@example.com. By adding a plus symbol after ‘me’ you can create unlimited variations of your email address and all will be delivered to your inbox. For example:
These will all be delivered to the firstname.lastname@example.org account.
Here are reasons you might want to use email variations using the plus symbol.
1. Filter your Gmail.
Get a lot of newsletters? Want to send certain emails directly to the archive? Use unique email addresses in combination with filters to sort your email.
2. Track Whois harvesting.
Use your Gmail account +whois for your Whois records to see who is contacting you by harvesting the Whois database.
3. See who is selling your address.
Use a unique email address for each account/login you create online to see if the business is selling your email address.
4. Reduce phishing attempts.
Use a unique identifier for each account you create to make sure you aren’t getting phished. For example, your bank email could be email@example.com. If you get a message from Wells Fargo that uses just firstname.lastname@example.org instead of email@example.com, then someone has harvested your email address and might be trying to trick you.
5. Reduce the chances of hacks impacting your accounts.
When hackers steal credentials from a service they then sell this information to people who run scripts to use the username/email and password combos to break into more accounts at other providers. If you use a unique email address for each service then they will be less likely to get into your other accounts.
The only problem I’ve run into using + symbols is that some web forms won’t accept the symbol and won’t accept it as a valid email address.