30 August 2008

 

Public service announcement: learn your own email address

None of the people I'm referring to will ever read this message, but I have to get it off my chest:

Please learn your own damn email address!

Over the past year, I've received numerous email messages from airlines, mailing lists, and even MySpace, sent to my Gmail address (I'm dkmiller over there, as I am here). While I've used Gmail as my main email interface since the beginning of 2006, that's not the address I give out to people—I either use my address here at penmachine.com or the forwarding address I've had at pobox.com since 1996.

However, there are a few people out there—a guy named Darren Miller, a gal named Debra Miller, and others (all in the U.S. so far), who seem to think their email addresses at Gmail are the same as mine. Thinking it's their own, they have entered my address into airline reservation systems, MySpace profiles, Volkswagen buyer registration websites, and various subscription forms. Which means I get emails intended for them.

If I were a bad person, I could do all sorts of nasty things to them because of their mistake—quite often I get a copy of their password in the first message, and if they're like many people, that password probably works at a whole bunch of different places. But instead I try to contact them (if I can get the info), or tell the places they registered about the problem, or (worst case, as at MySpace) simply cancel the registration so I stop getting the messages.

So, to everyone who does actually read my site here, when you're putting your email address into a website form, please make sure it's the correct email address. If you don't get a confirmation message from the site, be suspicious. If your private information is being sent to an incorrect email address, all sorts of things could happen. Thanks.

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Comments:

I've had that a few times. For a while I was getting emails from some government organization from Kenya or somewhere similar (wasn't a 419 or anything). Nothing that interesting though.
 
Right on! I'm using dkmiller@gmail for all my contest entries from now on! What a great idea! (kidding of course - this hasn't happened to me)
 
Lol my wife has that happen to her often but in her case it's someone from South America nearest we can tell and we think the messages are in Spanish. Unfortunately neither of us know enough Spanish to work out the details. :) We are fairly certain that her alternate identity is some sort of circus performer or actress.
 
My guess is that you have a lazy typer, as a slight stray of a finger on the way to the m could easily hit the k just before.

I am one such individual, this is how I kmnow.

Jeff
 
I use a TextExpander shortcut for my e-mail address, as well as many other things. Saves lots of time, and I know it's right every time.

http://www.smileonmymac.com/TextExpander/