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User Journal

Journal: Useful Email Trick

Journal by jdelisle

According to the RFC specifications for email addresses, "+" is a valid symbol when used before the "@" symbol. The "+" gives you an unlimited number of email addresses that can be sent to one account - automatically. You can create your own email addresses, using this technique with no intervention from IT. Most Internet web forms do not allow the "+" sign to be input for an email address and those validation programs are wrong.

Consider this: = = =

In this situation, all email will still get routed to the base address (, but because the "to" address is technically different, it can be filtered easily. In the case of JohnDoe+nospam01, the email address can be given to anybody that may spam. After a while, JohnDoe+nospam01 can be turned off in email filters and JohnDoe+nospam02 can be activated. Anything after the "+" is treated essentially as a comment and ignored by the mail server. This will allow your mail client to do tricks based on content.

Items to consider:
* Anyone collecting email addresses online should think about looking at their email address validation routines and making sure that a "+" in the prefix is an allowable character.
* While gmail is used in the example, other email addresses should work.
* Not a cure for spam since comment can be parsed to figure out base address.

C for yourself.