Email Validation, sort it out!

So, I am sure a lot of you know that in gmail (and I am guessing other email, but I have no real knowledge because I use gmail all the time) that you can add ‘+’ within your email address and then another word(s) and that will still work (if you don’t check out a little something from Goog on the matter here). I use this all the time for a number of reasons, one is that I can set up rules easily to put emails into specific folders, the other, is so that if my email finds its way onto the black market, or a spam network for example, I can tell who is responsible for it getting there.

Email with a plus sign in it info from google

This does fall down however, when websites have some email validation that prevents me from using the ‘+’ sign within my email address. Now I don’t know if that’s just their web developer being super thorough, or if they are trying to stop me from using my strategy because they don’t want it to be easy for me to tie them down to any strange places that my email might pop up, regardless of the actual reason, it instantly pangs at my trust nerve.

Things can get even more frustrating when the email validation is not the same across a company and its assets. For example, Jobbio, a recruitment app, I went to Jobbio Higher in London the other day, a kind of jobs fair for tech/startup kind of businesses. Prior to going, I signed up to their service, doing as I usually do and adding a ‘+jobbio’ between my email address and the, everything was fine, sign up was easy no problemo. Then closer to the time, I read that you were going to be able to apply for positions on the day, I didn’t know exactly how that might be implemented, but I assumed it might be via their mobile app, no worries. I downloaded their app, went to sign in and… ‘invalid email’. Frustrated, I assumed I had miss typed, I tried again… and again, only this last time I copied the username from LastPass also, and yet still, no joy. Very annoying.


Anyway, fast forward to now, I have, after a few emails to their support people, just changed my email address to standard without the ‘+’, which works fine and now I can totally use the mobile app, but I am not happy, I wanted to keep my stuff organised and keep a handle on how my email address is obtained by third parties, and this little incident just chips away at that control, lessens my trust and is all around a bad experience.

I appreciate that this is not Jobbio’s intended outcome, nor is it a problem limited to them, but it was just even more annoying that the email validation wasn’t the same throughout the experience, I have had plenty of sites that wont let me sign up with a ‘+’ in there, but this is probably the first that let me sign up but then not sign in to some aspects of it.

I guess what I am saying is, if you are developing a web app, app or anything that requires a users email address, don’t validate it in such a way that it doesn’t allow for the ‘+’ sign in their email address, it seems unlikely that this will cause you to have email problems with more people accidentally using it than it does with people, like me, who are just using it as a security / organisational tool.

Have you had similar issues? What strategies do you use to organise and, effectively, track the use of your email address(es) by third parties? Let me know on any of my social media accounts.

Have a great day, oh, and Jobbio seems pretty nice, give it a look ??


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