Special character hacks for Gmail addresses

New Tricks album coverImage via Wikipedia

Yesterday, my co-worker Matt told me about some Gmail tricks.

With a Gmail email address, the characters after a plus sign are ignored. You can use this to generate a new email address for yourself any time you need one.

For example, (assuming your email is janesmith@gmail.com) you could sign up for amazon.com using janesmith+amazon@gmail.com. All your email will be routed to the same place, but in the future you can filter or block based on the unique email if you need to.

This means you can track who gives your email to spammers. So, if you start getting email from Joe’s Used Cars addressed to janesmith+amazon@gmail.com, you know Joe stole (or purchased) your email from Amazon!

The other trick is just “nice to know.”¬†Gmail will ignore (some, all?) punctuation in email addresses. So jane.smith@gmail.com is the same as janesmith@gmail.com. If you want to make your email look more formal, you can add a period between first name and last name. If you’re trying to guess someone’s email address, know that that the periods don’t matter.