Google some years ago introduced "+" aliases to Gmail which enabled you to use address variations without changing your email address at all. It allows you to add additional text to the email address to make it unique in its own right without changing where replies arrive at.
A simple example is to add+sitename to the email address when you sign up on a website on the Internet. Signing up on Reddit, you could use the email address [email protected] and replies would arrive just fine at [email protected]
What makes the feature special is that it allows you to create filters for those aliases on Gmail. To an extent, it may also provide you with information about services that sell your email address or spam you directly.
It is not well suited for that though, as it is quite easy to remove the + part of the email address to contact the "right" address directly bypassing any filter in the process.
Outlook.com + email aliases
Microsoft has introduced the very same feature to its Outlook.com email service. The feature works similar to how the Gmail feature works.
Just add +whatever to your Outlook.com email address to create an email alias instantly that you can use for sign up forms and any other occasion where you have to enter an email address.
As you can see on the screenshot above, the mails will arrive just fine. Initially, you will find them either in the inbox or in junk.
You can create rules that define how you want those emails to be treated in the future . It is for instance possible to move all messages to the email address to a new folder, forward them, or delete them outright. The latter may be useful if you do not need access to the email address anymore but still get emails from services.
To create rules, select Sweep at the top and there Manage Rules. From here select new to open the create rule page.
- Select To or Cc line under step 1, make sure it reads contains in the second menu, and enter the email address including the alias in the third.
- Pick a desired action from the available ones, e.g. moving all messages to a new folder.
Some Outlook.com users will certainly make good use of the feature. For me, it is simply not that practicable as you are always revealing your "real" email address when you are using + email aliases. I prefer to use separate email addresses instead, as they do not reveal anything about other email addresses that I might use. (via Within Windows)