Plus addressing to track spammers

Plus addressing (or sub-addressing) allow you to use different versions of your email address. A great thing is to use plus addressing to track spammers. Use it whenever you want to track whether your email address has been transmitted to third parties.

What is plus addressing or sub-addressing?

With plus addressing or sub-addressing you have access to an unlimited amount of email addresses. You just need to add a “+” sign in your email name, followed by a new word or tag. The great thing is that you do not need to do anything. They work right away.  Here are some examples:

All emails sent to name+extraword@mailfence.com will go to name@mailfence.com

  • john+octobre2016@mailfence.com will go to john@mailfence.com
  • john+sales+mailing@mailfence.com will go to john@mailfence.com
  • etc….

Plus addressing to track spammers

If you are afraid that your email has been transmitted to a third party you can use plus addressing to track whenever you are required to enter your email on a site.

When registering to a specific website register with following email:  myname+namesite@mailfence.com  If ever you get a spam on this address you’ll know that your email was transmitted.

You can combine the plus addressing with Filters in order to automatically transfer the mails your receive on your plus address to a specific folder. Here is how you setup an email filter with plus addressing:

  • First go to the ‘Settings’.
  • There choose ‘Filters’ in the left Column
  • Click on ‘New’.
  • There you can configure that all mails sent to john+mailing@mailfence.com will be moved to folder ‘Admin Support’ as is depicted in the screencapture below.

Plus addressing to track spammers

Potential problems when using Plus Addressing

The form validation of certain web sites sometimes rejects special characters such as “+” in an email address.  This is dangerous since the answer to your mail might be sent to the wrong person.  A mail sent from john+mailing@mailfence.com might result in mails being sent to johnmailing@mailfence.com

Also, you can report spam to: Knujon, Spamchopconsumer.ftc.gov

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Patrick De Schutter

Patrick De Schutter is a serial digital entrepreneur and startup investor. In 2000 he launched one of the European pioneers of cloud software. He is a strong believer and advocate of encryption and privacy. With his company Mailfence, he supports the fight for digital rights and donates part of its revenues to support the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the European Digital Rights Foundation. Twitter: @pdeschutter

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