If you’re tired of your Gmail inbox being flooded with spam every day from companies you’ve never heard of, there is an easy way to find out how those companies targeted your account . The team at Gadget Hacks posted a simple trick online that allows Gmail users to find out exactly who shared their address with others.
The next time you go online to buy something or sign up for a service and are forced to enter your email address, there is an easy way to see what happens to your personal information.
All you have to do is enter the first part of your Gmail address in the email field, but then add a + sign and give it a unique name. Once you’ve done that, you should end things with the usual @ gmail.com.
For example, when you sign in to a Facebook account, give the social network the address email@example.com.
It might sound like a strange idea, but the reason why is because Gmail ignores any letters that fall between the + and @ signs, which means you can add extra detail between those characters.
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If a company then passes this information on to others, you will know exactly what is going on with the unique identifier you added.
As Gadget Hacks explains, businesses can make money by reselling email addresses to marketing companies. Since your email address always looks the same, you don’t know who spilled the beans on your data.
If you receive unwanted messages, you can try unsubscribing as all marketing messages should have this option.
If that doesn’t work, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) can sometimes help.
On his website it says at the ICO: “If you have received a spam e-mail, please report it to us.
“We will use the information you provide to identify, investigate and take action against organizations that do not adhere to direct marketing rules.”
The next time you’re asked to enter your Gmail address to sign up for a service, give this a try as it can provide some interesting insights into what is going on with your data.
The news of this hack comes when Google announced that it was giving Gmail users a very nice boost that couldn’t have come at a better time. The US tech company has just announced that it will extend its unlimited free video calls through Google Meet through June 30th. This means that all Gmail fans can now chat with friends and family online without fear of being cut off in mid-sentence.