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I've read that I should use email subaddressing when registering for web sites. For example, if my email address is user@domain.com, then, when registering for somesite.com, I should use the email address user+somesite@domain.com.

How effective is this at controlling annoying emails from somesite.com (or, in the extreme, outright spam)? What is to prevent somesite.com from stripping the +somesite tag and sending directly to user@domain.com? Is email subaddressing something that I should bother to use, or are the benefits limited?

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closed as off topic by random Apr 6 '13 at 21:26

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@random I don't understand why this question is off-topic, especially given that you linked to a possible duplicate (which wasn't closed as off-topic). –  Henry Apr 6 '13 at 21:40
    
@Henry - rather than provide an explanation random closed that question as off-topic as well. Even so, it does appear that both questions are off topic for Superuser.com according to the FAQ. I would not consider them to be duplicates... one is about obfuscation. The other is about +addressing which could also be obfuscated, but obfuscation was not any part of your question. –  Kevin Fegan Apr 7 '13 at 0:21
    
@Henry - I use +addressing extensively. I very rarely provide my root email address. For me, I rarely get email to my root address from unknown senders, and most of that is labeled as spam by Gmail. Using filters to label +addressed incoming email, and email from known senders, is fairly effective because it is easy to see unlabeled email in the inbox (I wish it could be searched for in that way). This is only my personal experience, I don't have any statistical sources. –  Kevin Fegan Apr 7 '13 at 0:31

1 Answer 1

Nothing except volume and predictability.

They certainly can do it, and they can automate that process, but spam distribution is a volume business, so they are interested in getting a list of as many email addresses as possible, but they are not likely to parse individual addresses to look for your 'sub-addressing'. if a large percentage of users used this system, then spammers would definitely do as you suggest, but as it stands currently, just the inconvenience of having dozens of accounts to manage makes the practice unpopular, and thus rare. the spammers have very little incentive to attempt to detect and parse out the root email address.

I wouldn't bother with accounts for each service I use, but I do use different accounts for different kinds of recipients.

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But with Gmail, for instance, the subaddressing comes for free with the root email address; you don't need distinct accounts as such. When you say you do use different accounts for different kinds of recipients, do you mean different subaddresses or different root addresses? –  Henry Apr 6 '13 at 21:20
    
more or less, though it appears gmail automates the process for you. thats kewl, but my answer remains the same. if it helps you, use it. it will be reasonably useful until the spammers see enough of it to bother throwing some code at the opportunity. –  Frank Thomas Apr 6 '13 at 21:22

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