3 Ways gMail Makes It OK to Share Your Email Address (Sometimes)

gMail - Email from GoogleWeb savvy Internet users know to Not Share Your Email Address unless you want to be spammed to death.  I completely agree. But gMail from Google can help you share your address with a reasonable certainty that, if the spamming begins, you can easilly shut it off.

  • First (and most powerful) is the feature, commonly called “plus addressing“, and which is appropriate per the Email RFC #822 (see pages 8&9), allows you to add additional information to your gMail address between your username and the “@gmail.com” portion of the address to give you a little more information about where you divulged this address, and to whom.
  • Next, gMail addresses are “dot blind“, meaning you can add as many dots (periods) in the username portion of your email address as you want (as long as the username does not start or end with a period)

For example:

If your email address is mykittenrocks@gmail.com, any of the following combinations will send email to your account, and you can tell gMail to filter them if you want, or label them a certain way, etc:

  • mykittenrocks+thecasbah@gmail.com (link to the song by the Clash, on YouTube)
  • my.kitten.rocks@gmail.com
  • m.y.k.i.t.t…e.n.ROCKS@gmail.com
  • my.kitten.rocks+dont.spam.me@gmail.com
  • mykittenrocks+subscriptions+sitename@gmail.com

Anders Jacobsen recommends subscribing to a website with the name of the website and the month, date and year you subscribed:

I usually register at websites with an email address of the form username+sitename+yyyy-mm-dd@domain.com and if I ever receive unsolicited email to this address (see my previous rants on dialpad.com) it’s easy not only to track where the spammer got my address from, but also to block this address for future emails.

The final way gMail helps you share your email address without undue future pain is to give you great Spam Filtering and Unsubscription tools:


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