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
When I went to DreamHost.com and made an account for them, I would create an alias such as:
Email that was sent to
firstname.lastname@example.org would show up in my
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:
How do you know if my email server supports sub-addressing?
Exampleemail@example.com would be a good test.
Apparently, some sub-addressing support hyphens as well, so you might want to try
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 the specifications.
- 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.