When I set up a new account on an online site, especially one I am just trying out and may not stay at, I will set up a new email address on my domain, for example, email@example.com, and then have it forward to my Gmail account. I could use Gmail's cool "+" notation instead (firstname.lastname@example.org), except I've found in practical use that many/most sites filter out email addresses with "+" in them as invalid, even though it meets the RFC. Once again thanks to overzealous programmers for doing what they think is right instead of doing what is actually correct.
Setting up a different address for each site allows all kinds of chewy goodness:
- It insulates my "real" address in case I want to stop using a service. I can then delete the mailbox from my domain and that email address becomes junk to the company that has it. They can sell it, but it won't increase my spam load any.
- It allows me to detect who sells my email address (or worse, who got hacked and lost it).
- Since email addresses are the equivalent of userids on most sites, it allows me to further separate risk by having both a separate, randomly generated strong password for each site and also a separate id for each site. If a site gets hacked and everyone's credentials get compromised the only thing I'm out are the credentials for that site.
When I set up a new email address on my domain it takes up to 15 minutes for it to take effect. I will then send a test email to it to make sure it's working before registering on the new site with my new address and randomly generated password. And here's where it gets interesting. I can't test those addresses by sending an email to them from Gmail. Gmail or something else somehow "eats" the email or otherwise "knows" when it gets the forward and doesn't show them in my inbox. Let me see if I can explain better:
|Test Sent From||Test Sent To||Results|
|email@example.comfirstname.lastname@example.org||Success - email from my Gmail id (email@example.com) to my Gmail id shows up in my Gmail inbox|
|firstname.lastname@example.orgemail@example.com||Success - email from my Gmail id to my main domain mailbox (firstname.lastname@example.org) shows up in my Gmail inbox (pulled via POP3)|
|email@example.comfirstname.lastname@example.org||Failure - email from my Gmail id to a mail address on my domain (email@example.com) that is getting forwarded to Gmail never shows up in my Gmail inbox (and no, it's not in the spam folder)|
|firstname.lastname@example.orgemail@example.com||Success - email sent from any other account other than Gmail (firstname.lastname@example.org) to a mail address on my domain gets forwarded and shows up in my Gmail inbox|
I don't know whether to blame Gmail, my domain provider, or what. But it is odd behavior, don't you think?