I hate when I feel like I’m the last person to find out about something. This happened to me yesterday when a co-worker introduced me to a new functionality within Gmail. Not so bad at first. Then I looked up more information online and found an article dating back to 2005.
A little late, eh?
Anyway, this is known as + Addressing and involves adding a little bit of text after a plus sign but before the @gmail.com.
Why? Technically your email address functions exactly the same way since Google won’t read anything after the plus sign. But if you’re signing up for something online, by adding the text to it, you can find out to whom this service is selling their subscriber lists.
How about an example?
You register an account with the New York Times. So you use the address kapgar5+NYT@gmail.com to register your account. Since Google doesn’t recognize the plus and what comes after it, you will get your digital subscription sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. But if you start receiving spam as a result of this registration, it will come through to kapgar5+NYT@gmail.com and you’ll know who’s to blame for selling your details.
You can also use the + Address to set up filters in Gmail that function a little more efficiently.
Another benefit to this trick is that if you sign up for a free trial period of a service like Hulu, use a + Address and just remember to cancel after the free trial period. Then sign up for a second free trial without having to create a whole new email address by simply modifying the + Address a tiny bit, say +Hulu to +Hulu2.
Well, I think it is.
Here’s day 5 of my photo challenge. Only two left.