Who has your email address and what are they doing with it? Why do I get so much junk mail?

Practically every day someone is asking for our email address in one way or another.  From entering a contest online, to getting a quotes from businesses, to sending an e-card, blogging, to your work, to warranty/product registrations, to charitable organizations, to buying a house, to dealing with your bank, etc., etc…..

We don’t even think twice about hearing the words, “What’s your email address?”, but should we think twice about who we are giving out our email address to?

Things you may want to know….

Although most people you give your email address out to will not sell your email address or ever send you spam, unfortunately, there is a lot of companies and people that do.  Usually, a lot of these sites are identifiable because the site is usually promoting a service or product. The site may have a lot of advertising/pop ads, but if your pop-up blocker on your computer is turned on then you may not notice this. On some other sites after you have given them your email address, a list of subjects will pop up and they will ask you to click on the subjects you are interested in.  

Several months go by and you notice that your getting a bunch of emails from places and companies you have never dealt with before and your baffled where all this email is coming from.  Actually, a lot of times it is originating from sites you gave your email address willingly to in the first place.  The company in turn takes your information and sells it to 3rd parties, so other parties can send you their product information, etc. But…how do you know who does this sort of thing and who doesn’t?  

You will usually find this in the fine print/legal jargon and it is referred to as a privacy policy.  On some sites you can easily see this information and on other sites you may have to look for it harder. Within the pages of all that legal jargon is the sites policies on privacy. If you take the time to read it all you may see the words the company has the right to send you information from other parties or the company has the right to send you information from 3rd parties, etc. This is your red flag/warning light that this company is going to pass on your information onto other parties.


The practice of passing on your information onto other parties and/or selling your information to other parties is very common now a days. Unfortunately, this practice is not only limited to the internet.  Even major banks also have it on their mortgage/loan applications, etc., you will have to tell them you wish to opt out of them passing your name onto third parties and/or receiving other product information from them. 

Although, it may take time to read all the legal fine print, it maybe worth it if you don’t want to end up on every junk mailing list in town. 



2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. coconews
    May 29, 2008 @ 10:26:41

    FYI – I personally don’t like junk mail, people passing on personal info to 3rd parties, etc.

    And..since I don’t believe in this sort of thing, this blog doesn’t partake in any of these practices either.

  2. coconews
    May 29, 2008 @ 10:39:47

    I have heard of other website/blog owners engaging in these practices though. You log on to make a comment or to get some information and the next thing you know they are contacting you about a service or product their promoting. As I mentioned before, if a person is promoting a service or product on their site, chances are you can be contacted. If don’t mind that it is fine, but if you do mind then you should be careful what sites you are on and who you are revealing your email address and personal info to.

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