Email is a wonderful tool used to communicate ideas. Email is often used to build community across the world wide web.

Daily scenarios on the internet:

  1. You publish your email, so the public can send email directly to you.
  2. You want a rebate, so you have to supply a valid email address in order to get your cash back.
  3. You want information, a free eBook or report, so you have to give an email in order to receive.
  4. You want to subscribe to a newsletter, the cost is free except you must provide an email address
  5. You want participate in a social network, but you must use an email address in order to gain access.

The problem: Each of these scenarios are great reasons to provide an email address.  Unfortunately, there are forces at work that want to send you SPAM; Emails that are unsolicited and unwanted.  When they, the SPAMMERS, get their hands on your email address they abuse it and share it with their associates who do the same until you are forced into killing lots of time every day wading through an endless sea of useless information just to find those few relevant emails.

For further reading on how SPAMMERS harvest email addresses visit FAQ: How do spammers get people’s email addresses?

A solution: Are we destined to living in SPAM purgatory?  How can we circumvent this problem?  Why not pre-create emails by occasion/function?  Then, when an email is required you can provide an email that is associated with the occasion/function.

NOTE: My apologies if your email happens to be FLast. All emails in this post are purely fictional and not expected to be real.

For security purposes when you use an email you should only use your first initial and last name. This gives cyberthieves less to find without digging further. An example of this is FLast = (First Initial + Last Name). For the remainder of this post, I will be using FLast with other letters to represent the different labels for email addresses one might use.

Email Occasion:

Professional FLast@gmail.com Used for established professional correspondence with work and colleagues
Family/Friend FLast_ff@gmail.com Used for correspondence with family or close friends
Social Networks  FLast_sn@gmail.com Used for social network correspondence with your social network applications.  The “_sn” email could represent several emails for the various social networks you might be involved with.  For example: “_fb”,”_in”,”_tw”
Rebates FLast_r@gmail.com Used when you need to need an email for those rebates; you know they might sell this one
Web Admin FLast_wa@gmail.com Used when a public administrator is needed. I’m using a gmail account for demonstration purposes.
Job Search FLast_js@gmail.com Used during a job search; you’re putting the email in the open, you know it’s going to be SPAMMED.  After you’re done with this email, you’re probably going to abandon it.

In the Aviation industry, they put a color dye in the fuel, this helps mechanics detect and fix fuel leaks.  In much the same way, an email that is labeled according to it’s function/occasion is like adding a tracer dye to an email, after a little while, you can tell where the leaks are coming from.  The source of the leaks will be pretty apparent, since you know which web entities you provided the emails to.

The Benefits:

  • You have an indicator of where the leaks are
    • You can kill the email or disregard incoming emails with this lable as unreliable.
  • You can prioritize your email by function/occasion

Part 2 will talk about how to manage all these tracer email accounts