Email plus

October 21, 2009 Comments Off on Email plus

The local-part (everything before the @) of an e-mail address may use any of these ASCII characters:

  • Uppercase and lowercase English letters (a-z, A-Z)
  • Digits 0 through 9
  • Characters ! # $ % & ‘ * + – / = ? ^ _ ` { | } ~
  • Character . (dot, period, full stop) provided that it is not the first or last character, and provided also that it does not appear two or more times consecutively.

Other piece of knowledge:
If your gmail is username@gmail.com, Gmail accepts username+anything@gmail.com, and that is a literal + there!

So you can (like many others out there) use that to your advantage to track if and how your email address has been sold. Example: you register for a newsletter of company XYZ, so you register with username+XYZ@gmail.com. If at some point you receive unsollicited mail, and upon checking you notice that it was sent to username+XYZ@gmail.com, you know that XYZ’s database with emails has either been compromised or sold. You could then set up a SPAM rule in gmail for example, and if you’re really brave, sue XYZ 😉

Now what annoys me, is that there are still javascripts out there that check email validity and don’t accept +. Dutch bloggies, for example, doesn’t accept username+bloggies@gmail.com. Why, why? Is it because they have bad intentions (probably not), or that they are just plain stupid (also weird for the organiser of a competition of best blog)?

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