Why has Makeuseof.com given my eMail address to spammers?

Sean May 13, 2010

This sites privacy policy policy states: “Any personal information you provide to us including and similar to your name, address, telephone number and e-mail address will not be released, sold, or rented to any entities or individuals outside of MakeUseOf.com.”

Yet my inbox is filled with spam sent to an email address I’ve given only to makeuseof.com?

  1. Aibek
    May 15, 2010 at 5:23 pm

    Hi Sean

    Thanks for the feedback. We take user privacy very seriously and very cautious about keeping the emails addresses we receive anonymous. After reading your questions I contacted the Aweber (company providing newsletter services) support team. Here is what they replied:


    There was a data compromise within the system several weeks ago. Our developers located it and completely closed, and fortified the exploit. We also instituted a number of other security measures to make sure that this breach would not occur again.
    This attack was specific, and targeted to capture email addresses. That being said all credit card data, personal account information (login, password, etc) were not compromised.

    We also posted a full detailed update to our blog:


    And of course if you have any further questions, please feel free to give me a
    call at +1 215-825-2196, I am available M-F 9am-5pm EST.

    I suspect your emails was probably one of those that were exposed. If that was the case I would like to apologize to you on behalf of MakeUseOf team. Aweber is no.1 email newsletter/marketing provider on the web. If there would be a better one we would use it instead.

  2. Mark O'Neill
    May 14, 2010 at 10:07 am

    As the managing editor, I can assure you that we do NOT pass on people's email addresses to third parties, for whatever reason. So your culprit lies elsewhere.

  3. Steve Campbell
    May 14, 2010 at 6:18 am


    MakeUseOf, to the best of my knowledge, does nothing with email addresses used for comments or giveaways. It's quite possible that someone else saw your email somewhere on the site and added it to their list and is spamming you. Anytime you type your email on the web you are taking a risk. If you're using a web app like Gmail, which is really good with dealing with spam, you won't have to worry so much about such risks.

  4. Jack Cola
    May 14, 2010 at 3:25 am

    There are many ways your email address could be captured. But before you blame MakeUseOf, did you specifically create an email account to only receive email's from MakeUseOf? If you didn't, how did you know it was us and not someone else?

    Way's people can capture your email:
    *Software on your computer. Ie keyloggers
    *You posted your email address publicly either on a website, facebook comment, or MUO comment etc
    *You joined a email list of another website who has sold your email address.

    MakeUseOf tries to protect everyone data and will not purposely give, rent or sell your information to anyone else.

    If Aibek responds, he should help you out further on the issue.