My email server is configured such that email to email@example.com gets correctly delivered to me. The dash and whatever is after it are retained but ignored completely.
When I give an email address to a company, say Northwest Airlines,I'll give them an email address that shows to whom it was given, say firstname.lastname@example.org. By doing this I'm able to check which companies are giving/selling/leaking my email address to spammers. Some of the leaks are surprising -- just a few weeks after giving out ry4an-philmont for the first time, giving it to the Boy Scouts, I started getting porn spam on it. When I called to let them know about the leak they assured me it was impossible.
Last month I decided to save all of my inbound spam and run some totals to see which sub-addresses got the most spam. Here are the counts:
|2542||ry4an-slashdot||Posted to http://slashdot.org|
|252||ry4an-dip||Used in the Diplomacy community|
|159||ry4an-resume||On my resume|
|141||ry4an-yahoo||Given to yahoo.com|
|125||ry4an-cnet||Byline for some articles I wrote|
|98||ry4an-oldenburg||Defunct Oldenburg project|
|88||ry4an-poker||Used at http://ry4an.org/poker/|
|84||ry4an-tclug||Given to the Twin Cities Linux Users' Group|
|62||ry4an-dns||Used for all my domain registrations|
|44||ry4an-keysigning||Posted at http://ry4an.org/keysigning/|
So it looks like the worst offenders aren't comanies to whom I've given my email address, but rather letting them get posted to the internet for automated crawlers to harvest.
Gmail users: You can do the same thing using the plus sign.
Yeah, the one I gave to United actually garners me the most spam. I emailed them to complain but was brushed off relatively quickly. -- Anonymous
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