Combating spam with GMAIL

Spam
Spam
You may want to read this first. The original contents of this post moved to the first comment, since I have worked out an even better approach to combating spam with GMail. The idea is to create two email IDs with GMail (say abc@gmail.com and pqr@gmail.com) – one real and the other “hidden”. The real one (abc) can be given to close friends who you trust not to spam. For all others do this: suppose you want to share your email ID with eBay.com and you dont trust eBay. Share this email ID with them: pqr+ebay@gmail.com. Setup a forwarder in ‘pqr’ account to forward all email sent to pqr+ebay@gmail.com to abc@gmail.com. All other email in the ‘pqr’ (for example sent to pqr@gmail.com) account can be set to be autodeleted. You get all your email in the abc@gmail.com account, without having to share it. More information on why this works is in the comment.

Why is this necessary? Why cant we work the same way as I mentioned earlier? Here is why: Spammers are also smart. Suppose you create an account abc@gmail.com and share abc+ebay@gmail.com. Now, spammers can search there database searching for gmail addresses with a ‘+’ in them and remove the ‘+’ and the part following it. Now what happens? You start getting spam at your real email ID with no way to filter it. If we change our tactics slightly, with what I suggest above, in such a scenario spammers will send email to pqr@gmail.com, which isnt getting forwarded. Do try and let me know pitfalls. I know its a bit complex but should be worth it – have questions, post comments.

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2 thoughts on “Combating spam with GMAIL”

  1. I have been a fan of GMAIL ever since it was launched – the best feature is of course the quick search facility, and use it regularly. I learnt an interesting way to combat spam with GMAIL recently.

    Suppose, the email ID you have is abcd@gmail.com. You can add a ‘+’ sign after abcd, and add whatever you want after that. For example, abcd+friends@gmail.com is also a valid email ID and the email sent to this address will reach you. When you are signing up with a service, let us say eBay, or a webforum and you fear the service provider will share/leak your ID, you can create a brand new email ID for them, for example abcd+ebay@gmail.com. This way, you can setup special filters to automatically tag the emails, or if it starts getting too much spam you can setup filters to automatically trash all emails to this ID that do not come from ebay.com.

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