Companies can get your email address through a variety of ways. Many will purchase mailing lists from online database sites or other ‘spamming’ companies. Your name can be added into these databases when you share your email address online, for example these companies may scan newsgroups and websites to collect email addresses that have been posted. Another method used by these companies is sending email to automatically generated email addresses at common domains, eg. firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com etc.