Catchall inbox can be beneficial. On the other hand, a catchall email inbox can be a nightmare.
If you are like most of us online, you probably have multiple email addresses. Each is for a different purpose. For example, you might have an email address for personal use, one for work, one for online shopping, one for newsletters, and so on.
In today’s spam infested environment, multiple email addresses makes sense. The challenge is managing each of the accounts. The nut is that it can be a real hassle. And, depending on the email platform you are using, multiple inboxes could mean having to logout and in multiple times. For productivity minded people, having to do that is a genuine waste of time. Time consuming yes, not to mention how tedious it would be!
One solution is to have all email arrive in one inbox. That inbox would be a catchall email inbox. Efficiency, productivity, tedium all rank at the top of why people implement a catchall email inbox. This is good … and bad.
A catchall email inbox is exactly as the name implies. This inbox has the ability to catch all messages addressed to your domain.
For this to work, you would simply have one valid email address. Then, regardless of what email prefix someone types before the ‘@’ symbol, that email would land in your catchall inbox. In other words, properly configured emails sent to any email address with your domain name would land in the catchall inbox. No bounce backs to the sender.
For example, let’s say the catchall email address is john@yourdomainname. It could even be catchall@yourdomainname. The inbox name really does not make a difference. It does not make a difference because so long as the @yourdomainname is used any email that ends with @yourdomainname will route to the catchall.
What this means is if someone addresses an email to support@yourdomainname it would arrive – even though you do not have a valid email address named ‘support’. If someone addressed an email to ghghgstyggsshhsyssh@yourdomainname, it would land in your catchall email inbox just like the ‘support’ one did..
From these examples, it is evident that how the catchall inbox works is when an email arrives, regardless of what is before the ‘@’, so long as it ends with your domain name it will be received in the catchall inbox.
At Website Web Hosting Services the catchall email inbox feature is set-up to ignore valid domain name email addresses. Incoming email addressed to valid account will be routed to the appropriate email inbox.
Before we review pros and cons of a catchall email inbox, let’s summarize what we know to this point:
Now to the big question …
Is a catchall email inbox a good alternative? Is it beneficial? Does it help or hinder? Is it safe?
Like most technological solutions, a catchall solution has its pros and cons. There are reasons why it makes sense. And there are some dangers to a catchall you might deem reason enough to not want to use one.
Following are 3 pros or reasons you might want to implement a catchall. They are followed by the same number of cons or reasons you might not want a catchall email inbox.
With a catchall, it would be rare to miss an important email. It happens to all of us at one time or other, we forget which email address we used to sign up for a service or a website. With a catchall that would not be a problem so long as the @ domain name was correct..
In addition to forgetting which email address we used, occasionally we mistype our email address when filling out a form. As above, with a catchall, we would not have to be concerned about that. Why? Because we will receive all emails sent to our domain, regardless of the name or spelling.
Implementing a catchall email inbox means we could have unlimited aliases. There would be no need to set up a different account for each email address. For example, you can use support@yourdomainname for service inquiries, sales@yourdomainname for sales inquiries, returns@yourdomainname for shipment returns, and so on. Yes, you could manually set each of these up as an individual inbox. The point is, with a catchall, individual inboxes would not be necessary.
A catchall can help protect your privacy. For example, if you want to sign up for a newsletter or a free trial that requires an email address, you can use a random alias like jh678@yourdomainname. This way, you would not have to reveal your primary email address and risk getting unwanted emails or exposing your identity.
Remember when you read the word “all” meaning that regardless of what the prefix is so long as your domain name follows the ‘@’ symbol the email will route to your catchall? That is a recipe for spam and junk mail. Inevitably as soon as the bots or one of those slugs who sell email addresses discovers that anything before your domain name will land in your inbox, you can expect junk mail and lots of them.
Additionally, junk mail and spam are the scouts for phishing emails. Once junk and spam email can get into your inbox, phishing email will be right behind them.
Another consequence related to spam is overload. Most Website Web Hosting accounts have 40 GB of mail storage. That sounds like a lot. In fact it is a lot. But a constant bombardment of spam and junk mail can easily cut into that storage space.
Recognizing the above, junk, spam, phishing, you would be correct in assuming you now have a security problem. The reason for this is because you have less direct control on what can and cannot land in your catchall inbox. As a reminder, anyone, or any bot, who discovers you use a catchall can send an email using any alias simply to test and see if it bounces. No bounce, you are now fair game for the elite on the dark side.
And there is an even darker side to using a catchall inbox – impersonation. That’s right, anyone could impersonate you by sending an email from yourname@yourdomainname to anyone they chose.
Finally a catchall is an invite to hackers. A catchall inbox opens you up to less scrupulous people who will actively try to bypass your password or even attempt to hack into your account using a brute force attack.
After reading the above, it should come as no surprise that having a catchall means you have more responsibility. You will have to implement a strategy for managing emails, keeping them safe, and ensuring security. You have to make sure that you use strong passwords and change them regularly. Encryption and antivirus software would be a must. Backing up your emails and promptly deleting the ones you don’t need would be essential. Additionally you would have to be vigilant in reviewing your emails regularly for suspicious activity.
My conclusion, and recommendation, is if at all possible avoid a catchall email inbox. The first word in the title ‘badass’ describes it best … a catchall email inbox is not only badass it will eventually bite you right on the ass!
There are alternatives to a catchall inbox that are more reliable, secure, and manageable.
If you would like more information on how to manage multiple email addresses or how to ensure you are not missing an email address because someone might spell an address incorrectly, complete this Let’s Chat form.
Bottomline, for me and my web interests, no to a catchall email inbox.
However, if you are a Website Web Hosting Services client and you really want to use a catchall, click here to view instructions.