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NO! We do not sell your data! (Working title - Email Aliases)

Different email addresses for different websites & services.

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If you read my blog you'll know I have a certain healthy paranoia about security. I
encrypt everything, and am at a loss why people don't use Password Managers more often. From a finance point of view I go as far as having a separate cash account with low amounts of money in, and a separate credit card with a low limit. They're the only ones I let near the Internet. Perhaps too paranoid.

Anyway, I've a current little spat going on with a certain electricity provider who insists they don't send on my details from when I've registered with their website. I find this hard to believe, as since I've registered with them I've been getting a ton of spam - not crappy 'you've won a million dollars' ones, but proper targeted advertising. How do I know it's them? Well, it's the email addresses I use for services.

The email address for this account is similar to:

RoadNOenergysupplier@mydomain.com

…where 'road' is three digit abbreviation of the property address, NO is the house number, and supplier is the supplier - mydomain.com of course being my personal email address.

NOTE: @Simon_kiteless mentioned over on that there Twitter that you can do this very simply with GMail, using the '+'. So you could enter 'yourEmail+supplier@gmail.com' and filter your email on that address. Very cool, thanks Simon. You can read more about this method on Gizmodo.

I do this for pretty much most key websites. This is for a few reasons:

  • It's more secure. Somebody getting one email/password combo won't automatically get access to every other site where you've used that combination.
  • It means I can track who's doing what with my information.

The primary purpose was the first one - the second one was a curiosity…and it's the first time I've had a major provider swearing blind they don't sell on my data, and yet…….

For what it's worth, does anyone else have a hotmail/outlook.com address they give to people they don't want to really talk to? No? No, me neither.

Anyway, this is pretty easy to do with most email providers. I use Office365 for example, which allows up to 200 email aliases. As I use a password manager I don't have to remember them all. I also of course have a generic one that I use on sites I don't really care about - and email for that address goes to a dump account that I check now and again.

Anyways, I'm curious to see how this one plays out.
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