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Verbiage: Customized email addresses problems

Chacham (981) writes | more than 5 years ago

User Journal 6

My email system used customized email addresses, that is, *@chacham.example.com is redirected to chacham@example.com. So, slashdot gets slashdot@chacham.example.com, Microsoft gets microsoft@chacham.example.com, and friends usually get firstname.lastname@chacham.example.com. It's a simple system that seems good for email management and spam tracking.

It has a few problems however:

My email system used customized email addresses, that is, *@chacham.example.com is redirected to chacham@example.com. So, slashdot gets slashdot@chacham.example.com, Microsoft gets microsoft@chacham.example.com, and friends usually get firstname.lastname@chacham.example.com. It's a simple system that seems good for email management and spam tracking.

It has a few problems however:

1) People get confused.
2) Some systems gets confused.
3) It does not work well with multiple recipients.

1) People get confused.

People get confused about two things. First, why are they sending to their own name if they are sending me an email. Indeed, when one credit card company called me i was asked if i used to work at their company! It takes a moment of explaining, and still some people just don't get it.

The second thing people get confused about is the dot. More than once people try sending to slashdot@chachamexample.com. Oh, there's a dot in there!

2) Some systems gets confused.

So, if i remove the people, it removes the problem, right?

Let's investigate. I have a Disney/Chase credit card. I use FF to connect, and it makes me revalidate each time i connect online. I'm probably missing a cookie somewhere (which i don't know of, so i do not know which site to make an exception for). I can send the validation text to my phone, or my email. I tried with email which was set to chase@chacham.example.com and it refused to go through. Changing it to a hushmail address worked fine. I ought to verify with another email address when i get a chance.

Same thing happening at one or two other places. Apparently, their systems will not send out an email to companyname@*.

3) It does not work well with multiple recipients.

When sending an email, i change my from address to the address i want them to reply to. This is not possible when there are multiple recipients.

[Edit: 4/23/09 Changed sample.com to example.com.]

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Traitor tracing (1)

Cyberdyne (104305) | more than 5 years ago | (#26698901)

I did this for a while with a free subdomain (my last name .ath.cx); unfortunately, I did this when I registered a domain with Verio. The domain itself has long since expired, I haven't had any dealings with Verio for years - but verio@mylastname.ath.cx still gets spammed regularly, because it was automatically listed as the domain contact address in Whois.

There is a Mac application I use a lot now called 1Password, which keeps track of passwords and other details - it has a built in facility for entering your contact information and a secure random password on registration forms which works very well, so making it generate and use a one-time email address should be easy enough, addressing issue 2 quite well at least: Chase wouldn't object to 72d48f27@... - the first four octets of the MD5 hash of 'Chase' in hex - in the way it might to chase@... Similarly, your mail client could be programmed to send to each recipient using their own personal address for you, perhaps entering it only as a Reply-To (with no email address in the From field, just a name). Not as useful for personal contacts, business cards etc, but that's 2 and 3 dealt with at least.

Re:Traitor tracing (1)

Chacham (981) | more than 5 years ago | (#26700501)

Interesting. I don't think i am ready to change anything just yet. But i'll let it simmer. Thanx.

My courier solution (1)

FroMan (111520) | more than 5 years ago | (#26699107)

Instead of using sub domains, I use the format of username+@example.com. I haven't had issue with this format other than some sites do not consider '+' to be a valid email address character, which means they reject it as a valid email address when filling out forms. It could just as easily be changed to a '.', '-', or '_' character.

Since I use courier (I like the integration of SMTP, POP3, and IMAP into a single server), I setup my authmysqlrc to use the SELECT CLAUSE as below.

SELECT id, null, clear, uid, gid, home, maildir, quota, name, options FROM passwd WHERE id = CONCAT(SUBSTRING('$(local_part)@$(domain)' FROM 1 FOR IF(POSITION('+' IN '$(local_part)@$(domain)'), POSITION('+' IN '$(local_part)@$(domain)'), POSITION('@' IN '$(local_part)@$(domain)')) - 1), SUBSTRING('$(local_part)@$(domain)' FROM POSITION('@' IN '$(local_part)@$(domain)')))

Re:My courier solution (1)

Chacham (981) | more than 5 years ago | (#26700553)

Yeah, a friend does a similar thing as mentioned in the linked JE. It definitely has its advantages, and may be the best solution. Though, i'm not ready to give this idea up just yet.

Catch All (1)

siliconvortex (235693) | more than 5 years ago | (#26701159)

I have a catch-all account on my domain. I have a couple of personal accounts that I use for friends and family. I have never gotten any spam on these.

For everything on the web I use a non-existing username which then gets routed to spam@exampledomain.com. Thus I can use amazon@, newegg@ and whatever else I choose without setting up new users. I can filter by the sent to address and see who is selling my data and who just spams in house.

Not sure if this is too simple for your uses but for a home use email domain it serves me well.

Re:Catch All (1)

Chacham (981) | more than 5 years ago | (#26704521)

Interesting.

Right now i like what i have, though it has problems. The ideas mentioned here are all what to think about. Thanx for the input!

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