Simple Email System to protect privacy ánd boost productivity
So why should you be careful about your main email address?
- (unethical) marketeers
- data leaks
If you enter your email address to subscribe to a newsletter or to get kinda lead magnet, your email is stored in a database. Sometimes this database (or a part of it) is sold to other (third) parties.
If this is ethical or not, depends on the conditions you are supposed to read 😉
In contrary to the first point “data leaks” usually happen by accident.
Data leaks happen quite a lot and cannot to be 100% avoided. A simple human error can have a big impact.
Recently May 21, 2020 storyxpress ** got this problem, they accidentally put a list of users in CC instead of BCC. Luckily they did not leak all of theirs users. My email address starts with an s and I could see all other users starting with an r or s.
I was just going through them and noticed lots of address starting with [email protected] …
That made me think …
** I love Storyxpress .. although it should not have happened, I won’t be for ever mad at them … only today ;). Moreover I thank them for this valuable insight.
Their tool is just fantastic. It allows you to quickly shoot video’s (with or without screen/webcam recording). Perfect if you want to give feedback, explain something to a friend/colleague …
I have the Lite version and can only recommend it. Pricing can be found here.
A Simple Solution to hide your main email address from the public
It made me think about how I could better protect my email address.
It’s less complex than you might think.
Conceptually, you’ll “create” separate email addresses for EVERY product / service where you need to give an email address.
Sounds too much work?
Well, it isn’t?
Say your main email address [email protected] and you own a domain name somedomain.com.
Each time when you need to give an email address:
- if you want to subscribe to a newsletter
- if you want to enter a give away
instead of using your main email all the time, you give an email address that is related to somedomain.com.
Say you want to subscribe to the newsletter of TheCoolestCompanyInTheWorld, the email address you enter can be [email protected]
Most of the hosting companies have a “Email Management” module (mostly done through DirectAdmin, CPanel, ….).
This module allow you to use a “Catch-All E-Mail” feature.
Using that feature you can configure if the email account is not known, it gets forwarded to another email address (e.g. [email protected])
So this basically makes your main email address invisible to the outside world and deliver everything nicely to your main email address.
This is already nice. But from a productivity point view, I wanted a extra “hack”.
Extra productivity boost hack.
All emails now are forwarded (in fact catched-all to be 100% correct) instantaneously to the main email address.
I am subscribed to MANY newsletters. Some are because I like what they have to tell, some are because I want to have a look how they create their marketing emails, …
Bottom line is: it just comes into my mail INBOX, so if I quickly need to check something in an email, I got often distracted by all those cool emails that marketeers are sending.
In practice I don’t want to “see” all the emails as that often leads to distraction.
Btw: I have created this tool FocusToFlow.com that helps with being distracted on time consuming websites 😃
So wouldn’t it be nice that those “nice-to-read” but non-urgent emails are forwarded to another email address let’s say [email protected]
Now the feature forwarders comes into play. You can add a forwarder to that email address.
So now, we established all emails that are sent to email addresses related to @somedomain.com are forwarded to [email protected] except for those who are being used in a forwarder.
So to summarize, in the picture below you see how you protect/hide your main email addresses from the public.
By doing so your privacy is protected
And by using separate emails ‘behind the scenes’, you can even grade them by priority.
You main email you check e.g. daily and “your 2nd” email” you only check “if you have the time”.
How do you know an email got leaked?
If you happen to receive emails addressed to [email protected] whereas the message is in no way related to TheCoolestCompanyInTheWorld, chances are there is something fishy going on.
What if one of you email addresses got leaked (by accident or by a marketeer) ?
First of all luckily only that particular email address got leaked and not your main email address.
If you want to get rid of that “leaked” email address you could create a forwarder that goes to a non existing email address (or one you won’t check anyways). Or you could also create a REAL mailbox for that leaked email address and just don’t read that particular email box..
If you still want to work with the company you can make up a new email address.
What if I only need to access an email temporarily?
If you only need a temporary email address. You can use email services that offer you a very temporary email address.
That way you are sure you won’t get bored with random offers about cryptocurrencies (nothing against crypto btw) or news about some lottery you happened to win, …. .
I often use this if I don’t trust the company 100% or I only want to check out their lead magnet.
Again a simple tweak with big (privacy) impact.
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