This whole time, I’ve been very careful with my email. I never gave it out easily, never register to any shady website, never displayed it in public space, I never risk my email. Why? Because I love my current email. This is my professional looking personal email. You know, the one using the [email protected] format. It’s not those embarrassing old email addresses like [email protected] or [email protected] kind of email (which looks cool back in 2000, the ‘matrix’ age). I love this email address and I don’t want it to be ruined by the spam, so I take precaution when giving it out.

Do you know that Gmail have this nice feature where you can have unlimited aliases for your email address?

Using an address alias

Gmail doesn’t offer traditional aliases, but you can receive messages sent to [email protected]. For example, messages sent to [email protected] are delivered to [email protected].

You can set up filters to automatically direct these messages to Trash, apply a label or star, skip the inbox, or forward to another email account.

I’ve been using this trick for awhile now. For example, when I register on vimeo, I use [email protected]. At wordpress I use [email protected]. Its bit tiring, especially when I forgot the password for those site, I have to guess what plus word did I use when registering. Its usually the domain name, but sometimes its not.

This morning I found out that my precaution is paying off. I got this email from [email protected] claiming to be from the best drug store in Canada. Off course gmail spam filter correctly identified it as a SPAM, but still, its very annoying. I always check my emails first thing in the morning, and spam email is not fun (I check my emails every morning while having breakfast, reading about a d*ck enlarger drugs really kills my appetite). Now I have to waste more time checking the SPAM folder for any false positive. Because even gmail spam filter is not perfect.

I was ready to say goodbye to my spam free inbox until I checked the email details. Turns out it was send to [email protected]. Wow! I never thought seesmic would stoop so low as to sell my contact information to spammer. A quick googling reveal that they’re not that low:

Over the weekend, we were informed through Twitter that some users received spam to their email accounts specifically used for the TeamSeesmic newsletter. After working directly with certain users - collecting and assessing the information - we contacted our email newsletter provider, Aweber, to help us investigate and address this issue.

Yesterday, Aweber released this statement on their blog:

In essence, Aweber was a victim of vulnerabilities, and the issue was limited to areas where subscriber email addresses were stored for all their clients.

Hm.. Okay. Seesmic is not guilty. What about my email? Well, simple. I just create a new filter with this rule:

If sent to [email protected] move to trash

There. Done.

PS: This post have been sitting for a while in my draft folder, somehow I forgot to hit the publish button :P