Personal information (PI) is any information that can be used to identify, contact, or locate the person to whom such information pertains. When we do business with a company, we have a right to expect some confidentiality and protection of this personal information, at least to the extent that the company does not let our PI fall into the hands of criminals. When they mishandle our information, even something as innocuous as an email address, not only do they cause us unnecessary inconvenience, they potentially put us and our families in jeopardy.

I don’t know about you, but I am sick and tired of receiving spam email about penis enlargements and ED products. If you’ve ever wondered how the heck they get your email address, you’re in the right place. I’m going to tell you.

I use a product called sneakemail and have for years. I’m NOT affiliated with the company or product in any way other than being an avid and happy user. A few years ago, I bought a product from a small company in Tucson. I’d heard about Sneakemail and used it to generate a new email address to use with this purchase. The email address was created specifically for this purchase and for no other reason. No other person or company knew about that particular email address. Anyway, I received the product and was generally happy with my purchase. Some time later, I began to receive porn spam at that email address. I was livid!

I wrote an email to the company and scolded them harshly for selling my email address to spammers. The president of the company called to assure me that they don’t do that. After I explained how sneakemail works and that when I got spam direct to that email address, I knew it could only be from his company. He seemed distressed about it, and said he would check into it. A few days later, he wrote back and said that they had fired an employee recently and could only surmise that this employee had stolen customer email addresses to sell to the mailing lists.

Whether that was the truth or he was covering for the actions of his company, I’ll never know. What I do know is that other so-called reputable companies have let my email address fall into the hands of spammers, whether knowingly or not. Sometimes companies get hacked. Sometimes they are simply irresponsible. You’d be surprised at who some of these companies are. And I’m here to tell you.

In most cases, I’ve written to them asking for an explanation and apology. In all cases, except where noted, I received NO response. Ready to find out who they are? Just click the Sell-outs link at the top.

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