If you’re anything like me, your Gmail inbox is clogged with countless promotional emails, sales fliers, app reminders and all sorts of other clutter that makes it hard to find the important stuff. Sure, Gmail does a decent job by filtering a lot of this spam for us and giving us a real unsubscribe option. But Time Techland writer (and friend of Techlicious) Doug Aamoth has an even better suggestion for stopping spam: Add a plus sign to your Gmail address.
Say you’re signing up for access to a new website or app you’re worried will harass you with emails. Instead of giving the company firstname.lastname@example.org as your address, give it email@example.com instead. Its emails will reach you, but with some simple filtering, it will be automatically relegated into a low-priority folder away from your more important communications.
To set up the filter part using your disposable email addresses, you’ll need to do a little bit of setup. Click the cogwheel icon in Gmail and then choose “Settings.” Click on the “Filters” tab, and then click on the “Create a new filter” link at the bottom. Put your own Gmail address in the “To” field, using the “+spam” modifier as shown above. Then click “Create filter with this search.”
From there, you can choose to automatically archive messages sent to that address or automatically send them to a spam folder. That’ll keep the nuisance messages out of your main inbox. You can choose to automatically delete these spam messages, but that’s not recommended – you may need to recover a password or other information later.