Today I have something just for you, Dear Grandma Readers. It’s a technology tip that I think you’ll find really useful.
There are many freebies on the Internet. Freebies makes the world go ’round. (And you thought it was love . . . )
However, with some of those freebies, there is a big drawback — you have to give your e-mail address to get that freebie. Once you give your address, you are inundated up the wazoo with spam from whomever gave you the freebie. I guess it’s a tit-for-tat situation: I give you my freebie and you give me your e-mail address. We’re even Steven.
Sometimes that stinks.
But, if you use Gmail, there is a secret trick that you can use. Wanna know what it is? I thought so.
But first a little history. Not much. Just a snippet. (Knowing this will help you understand the little secret trick that I am about to share.)
When Google was expanding to Europe, they ran into a little snafu. ‘Gmail’ was already being used by a rival service. That meant there were trademark issues with using ‘gmail.’ To get around those issues, Google created @Everybody was happy.
And this is where, my friend, this little trick comes in.
Use the @alias!
Then, I can set up a filter in Gmail that will sort messages to that address into a separate folder. That way, if the giver-outer of that freebie spams you or sells that e-mail address to someone else, your inbox isn’t swamped by messages from those pesky people. Sweet, huh?
Here’s secret trick number two. (I know the title of this post is ‘a secret trick’ which numerically means ‘one’ secret. But I’m feeling generous today. Here’s a second one. Aren’t I nice? I think so, too.)
Let’s look at my original Gmail address: ms. smartypants@. You can add the plus sign (+) and another word and then messages sent to that address will get sent to your original Gmail account. So, here’s an example of another type of alias that you can create:
You get the idea.
I know some people just make up something bogus for the required e-mail (e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org). Anybody who is anybody knows that the system is just looking for an @ sign. It doesn’t care what comes before or after it. As long as it has the @ sign, you’re good to go.
But what happens in the situation that they will send you a confirmation to your e-mail account that you have to respond to before you get your freebie? If you put in gibberish for your e-mail address, you’re up a creek without a paddle, mate.
So if there will be a confirmation that you need to respond to, use one of these two secret tips. When you get your confirmation e-mail, respond to it, get your freebie, and then never look at that folder again. Unless you are going in to delete all of the messages you get.
Now. Go out there. Sign up for all of those freebies to your heart’s content — and don’t worry about having tons and tons of pesky junk e-mail.