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Tips to Manage Your Online Identity Through Your Gmail Account

Tucker filters junkmail

As an Americorps VISTA, I am forbidden from taking a second job while serving my year here with Aspiration. In an effort to possibly win some money or other free things, I have found myself registering with a few online survey companies. Understanding that their legitimacy and security may not be utmost and weary of the spam that I have to deal with – I’m pleased that I know a few tricks to adjust my Gmail address to better manage my online identity. Let’s check out a couple to tricks that you can use to manage your own email intake.

Using “+” in a Gmail address

In your Gmail address, you can insert a “+” after your username and then add any words or numbers between your username and the “@” to create alternate email addresses that are still delivered to your inbox. Whatever you add between the “+” and the “@” is ignored by Gmail and all mail will still be delivered to your account inbox. =
For example:

When I sign up for Aspiration’s eNewsletter, I give them my email address that looks like this:

“Aspirationtech” is ignored by gmail, because it is between the “+” and the “@” and the eNewsletter is delivered to However, in the inbox, you’ll be able to see that it was sent to

There are many different ways that one could use this trick:

  • Create multiple accounts with services that require you to have a unique address.
  • Set up filters, using the “To” line as a qualifier so that messages from services you sign up for don’t clutter your inbox (e.g. Set up a filter for all emails that were sent to to be labeled “Aspiration”)
  • Know what sites are passing your email address along to others. (e.g. If you get prescription drug spam being sent to, you’ll know somebody sold your email address)

Using “.” in a Gmail address

Another trick that Gmail users and their friends may not be aware of is that Gmail does not recognize “.” as a character within a username. So, adding, moving or removing a “.” from a Gmail address won’t change the actual destination address. = a.j.s.a.m.p.l.e.@gmail.comYou can use this trick in many of the same ways as the “+” sign.

This is also good for people who are emailing Gmail addresses to remember: Can’t remember where to put the “.” in your friend AJ’s email address? Good news! It doesn’t matter! = = =

However, if you are part of an organization that uses Google for their domain, this will not work for those email addresses.

Here are a few other posts that can help you manage your online identity:

Do you have any tips or tricks for managing your online identity?


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