Quite some time ago, thanks to the wonder of Magazine Cover Disks, I installed Concept Draw MINDMAP personal edition 4. If you need to make mind maps and the like, this is reasonably good software and certainly worth the price (i.e. free). Part of the installation process required me to register with concept draw, and provide them with an email address.
Being a naturally paranoid fool, who always assumes the worst, I used the services of Gishpuppy to create a one-off email address for this registration, which automatically forwarded emails to my main account. If you haven’t already done so, I cant suggest strongly enough the advantages of going to the site, registering and getting the plugin (if you use FF / IE) to allow you to “Gish It” every time you are asked for an email address.
Basically what happens, is you give gishpuppy some keywords and a domain which you want to use the email address on, then it creates the address for you. As an example, if your key words were whydontyou it may create the email address firstname.lastname@example.org. You give out this email address and when anything is sent to it, it gets forwarded to your real account. It is a great way of testing the water with some services.
Anyway, as I said I created the GishPuppy address and registered. Everything was fine for a few months, but for the last five or six weeks, I am getting a deluge of spam emails to that address. Now, I know I have never used this address anywhere other than the ConceptDraw registration. Today I got an email from a site admin saying that there had been a massive amount of spam from my email address (the Gish one) and suggesting I check the firewall to see if I have been hacked.
Now, as I see it, one of two things has happened. Gishpuppy has compromised my email address to spammers, or Concept Draw have. If it had been Gishpuppy, why would they only give up one email address? I have dozens registered with Gish (I use them every time I have to register somewhere so I can filter the return emails), and none of the others get spam emails.
Sadly, I can only draw one conclusion from this and it certainly ensures I wont buy anything from Concept Draw in the future. To give them the benefit of the doubt, I have tried email Concept Draw to explain I felt emails were being misused but, oddly, I have had no response.