One of the cool things about having your own domain name is you can manage your own email records. For example, you can create alias emails for each online shop/forum you visit. Using a wild card in the mail settings means <anything>@mydomain.com gets forwarded to my “real” email address.
When a shop wants an email address you can create something off the top of your head miles away from your computer knowing full well it will work… “firstname.lastname@example.org” will forward as it matches the <anything>@mydomain.com rule.
When someone sells your email address or starts to spam you, it is easy to stop forwarding that single address without blocking all the other email you might actually want to receive.
Solution – Gmail/Googlemail
If you don’t own your own domain name then the chances are you use something like Gmail/Googlemail or similar public mail service. The nice thing with Gmail is that you already have this function built in…
Google let you add the “+<anything>” to the end of your email address to generate a “throw away” email address. For example, say my gmail account is “email@example.com” I could create “firstname.lastname@example.org” or “email@example.com” to help filter the email on arrival.
As an aside, Google also allow you to use “.” in your email address. These can be added without changing your email address. For example “firstname.lastname@example.org” is the same as “email@example.com” and “firstname.lastname@example.org”.
Full details can be found on this Google blog post…