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Has it ever happened to you that you signed up for some app or web service, only to get spam emails from unsolicited sources, soon after?

I try all kinds of new apps that get launched and face this issue all the time. Last day, I tried to check my CIBIL score on a third party aggregator site. I should’ve guessed but soon after trying the app, I started getting spam emails from other financial products.

Technically, they are allowed to, because most of the time, the information about where your email and other personal details will be shared with is included in the fine print. And unless you are reading it by word, you wouldn’t know how your personal information will be shared (until you get your emails).

Of course, you can mark unsolicited emails as spam in your email client but I always wondered who sold/shared my info. To fix this, I’ve been using a neat trick lately. Here’s what it is.

Whenever I sign up for a new service, instead of signing up with your actual gmail ID, I add a suffix to it marking the website/app.

For example, instead of signing up with [email protected] (imaginary ID). I sign up with [email protected]

Gmail lets you add this suffix with a plus sign against your original email ID and that’s a blessing. (Source). So, in case this app shares your information, with another party, your email is shared but tagged to the original app. And, if the third party sends you unsolicited emails, you know where it is coming from by checking your “Send To” field in Gmail.

Easy as that. So, next time you sign up for an app, sign up with your gmail id + the app name, so you know if they share your email with others.

Neat, isn’t it? Thanks Google.