There have been a number of high-profile stories recently about hacking and digital identity theft, along with a rash of hacked yahoo.com email accounts that usually lead to scams/cons. When a number of my friends and family members fell victim to these hacks (thankfully not to the scams) and discovered that the collateral damage could be worse than the hack itself, I decided that I should put together some recommendations to help them avoid more trouble in the future.
Like most tech-savvy people, I have more than a handful of email addresses, and I like to guard them against being shared without my permission (and track back to the company that did the sharing). When you run your own mail server, this is quite easy – just make up a custom email address for every company you do business with. Unfortunately, this gets somewhat cumbersome after awhile, and definitely isn’t a solution for the general public. Enter plus addressing, a method built into most mail servers that allows users to modify their own email addresses with additional data that can be tracked but does not interfere with mail delivery.
This would be the perfect solution if it was actually supported by the majority of online account providers (and in the 6 years since this article was originally written, things aren’t much better).