Strengthening Cyber Awareness & Resiliency with Plus Addressing

By Steven Van Wasshenova, Sr. Director, Solutions Engineering

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

In our digital age, cybersecurity is a paramount concern. The increasing frequency and sophistication of cyberattacks make it imperative for individuals and organizations alike to fortify their defenses. One effective but often overlooked tool in the fight against cyber threats is the use of “plus addressing.” In this blog post, we’ll explore what plus addressing is, how it enhances cyber awareness and resiliency, and how it can help reduce phishing attacks.

Understanding Plus Addressing

Plus addressing, also known as subaddressing or tagged addressing, is a feature available in many email services that allows users to create unique, disposable email addresses by appending a plus sign (+) and a specific tag to their primary email address. For example, if your primary email address is “[email protected],” you can create subaddresses like “[email protected]” or “[email protected].”

The beauty of plus addressing lies in its simplicity and versatility. It doesn’t require setting up multiple email accounts or complicated configurations. Instead, you can generate unique email addresses on-the-fly by adding tags to your primary address.

Strengthening Cyber Awareness & Resiliency

1. Easy Identification of Senders

One significant advantage of plus addressing is that it helps you quickly identify the source of incoming emails. By using unique sub-addresses when signing up for different services or newsletters, you can immediately tell which entity is sending you an email. This enhanced awareness allows you to spot suspicious or unexpected emails more easily.

2. Efficient Email Filtering

With plus addressing, you can set up filters in your email client to automatically categorize and sort incoming emails based on their subaddress. For example, you could have all emails sent to “[email protected]” automatically labeled as “Newsletters.” This reduces clutter in your inbox and enables you to focus on the most critical emails.

3. Isolation of Phishing Attempts

Phishing attacks are a prevalent cybersecurity threat. Attackers often use fake email addresses that resemble legitimate ones to trick recipients into disclosing sensitive information. Plus addressing can be a valuable defense against phishing. By using unique sub-addresses for different services, you can isolate phishing attempts and identify them more easily.

Reducing Phishing with Plus Addressing

Here’s how plus addressing can help reduce phishing:

  • Spotting Spoofed Addresses: If you receive an email from a familiar service but addressed to a subaddress you haven’t used for that service, it’s a red flag. Plus addressing helps you quickly recognize spoofed addresses.
  • Immediate Filtering: Phishing emails often use generic or suspicious sender addresses. You can set up email filters to move emails sent to certain sub-addresses directly to your spam folder, preventing them from reaching your inbox.
  • Tracing the Source: If you suspect an email might be a phishing attempt, checking the subaddress can help you trace its source. Legitimate companies won’t use sub-addresses that you haven’t provided to them.
  • Disposable Addresses: Plus addressing also allows you to create disposable addresses for one-time use. If a questionable website requests your email address, use a disposable subaddress. If you receive unwanted emails there, it’s easy to deactivate the subaddress without affecting your primary email.


Cyber awareness and resilience are essential components of a robust cybersecurity strategy. Plus addressing provides a simple yet effective way to enhance both. By leveraging this feature, you can identify senders, efficiently filter emails, and isolate phishing attempts more effectively. Implementing plus addressing in your email practices is a small but significant step towards strengthening your defenses in the digital realm. Stay cyber-aware, and stay safe online!


LinkedIn Twitter YouTube

Subscribe to the Deepwatch Insights Blog