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Why I use tagged email addresses

I use a unique email address anyplace I need to give out my email address. This allows me to track spam and other unethical organizations that believe their “message” is more important than my privacy. A simple MD5 hash of (the domain I’m submitting to) plus (a private password) gives me a unique 32 character address. I combine that with a shell script to keep my virtusertable up-to-date, and a set of Eudora filtering rules, and my email is pretty much automagically sorted.

When I opt-out of a mailing list, I mean it. So if an organization adds me back to their list, I get annoyed. Really annoyed. So when the Sierra Club used to spam me this afternoon, I got annoyed. I’ve reported the spam to Sierra club and Uptilt. We’ll see what kind of response they give me. If any. I’m not expecting much of a response, the “Anti-Spam Policy” has huge holes in it.


  1. Using Tagged Email Addresses for Fun and Profit…

    Pascal van Hecke recently caught some spam that was sent to a unique email address he gave to Read the details. One problem is he used a very simple tagged address that could be easily guessed. For example, I would guess that his MyB…

  2. Donna McCraw says:

    I just received an email from Google Earth which was sent to my Gmail account. It was flagged as spam, which made me think it was a forgery, possibly a phishing scam. Then I realized it was sent by

    I think it’s hilarious that Gmail is flagging its own mail as spam when sent by 3rd party senders.

  3. […] in May 2006 I wrote abut why I use tagged email addresses. Just today, I found yet another company violating their privacy policy. On October 31, 2007, I […]