Saturday, August 4, 2007

Use Gmail to identify spammers

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Gmail has an interesting little tweak where you can add a plus sign (+) after your Gmail address, and it'll still get to your inbox. It's called plus-addressing. Plus-addressing allows users to sign up for different services with different aliases and then easily filter all e-mails from those services. It does not appear, however, that the +string feature works when sending email from a gmail account to itself. Additionally (in some cases) the string appended to the e-mail address may not be longer than six characters.

If you gmail account is throwaway@gmail.com, then you can generate additional email accounts by adding text after the plus.

Original Account:
- throwaway@gmail.com

New Accounts:
- throwaway+dumpa@gmail.com
- throwaway+dumpb@gmail.com
- etc.

By using gmail's filtering function with your unique text (dumpa, dumpb, etc.), you can automatically archive these messages. You can also identify from which website the spammers are collecting your email address.

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