Spammers Can Get Your Email Address from Google Profiles

Written by Amit Agarwal on Apr 16, 2009

A word of caution for people who have their email accounts on Gmail and are planning to use a vanity URL for their Google Profile.

Vanity URLs are available across all Google Accounts but you can pick a custom username for your Google Profile (like this) only if your Google Account is not associated with a Gmail address.

google-profile-spam

Gmail users have two choices – they can either continue using the default cryptic URL for their Google Profile (like this) or they can have their Google email username in the Google profile URL.

Now that may sound tempting because a URL like google.com/profiles/google_username is definitely search friendly and more easy to remember than google.com/profiles/121221 but before you jump, here’s a quick warning.

When you add your Gmail user name to the Google Profile, you are indirectly exposing your email address to spammers. They can simply take the username from any Google Profile, append @gmail.com and they have gold in their hands because its you real Gmail address.

All public Google Profiles are indexed in search engines so think twice before turning vanity URLs with your Gmail username. Hat tip Seer.

Related: Get a @googlemail.com address

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