This Chrome extension masks your email address

Sign up for an account with a website and you’ll usually see them promising not to share your details with others. “We hate spam as much as you do”, they might claim, although none of this seems to prevent the endless torrent of junk which pours into our inboxes on a daily basis.

It could be a better idea to simply never give out your main email address in the first place, then. And MaskMe is an excellent Chrome extension that can help.

When you’re setting up a web account somewhere, for instance, the site will at some point ask for your email address. And at that point MaskMe will pop up and ask if you want to enter your real account details, or a “masked” address. Choose the second option and it’ll enter a random, but real address -- “3d45e64c@opayq.com”, say -- and the site will never get to see your real account.

And as a bonus, MaskMe can also pop up when the site requests a password, and offer to generate a secure one for you. Accept this and it’ll enter something like “AV.93vxZw4″ in the form, saving the details, and automatically logging you in whenever you return to the site.

The real long-term bonus here comes from the masked email address, though. Anything sent here gets forwarded to your real account, so if the site sends you a verification email (for instance) to confirm your details then it’ll arrive as normal.

If you subsequently get spam to that address, however, you can block individual users simply by clicking a link in the email header. Or, if the email is drowning in spam from everywhere and beyond hope, it’s just as easy to block the entire account and never see any of its associated junk again.

There are of course plenty of other services around to help you generate passwords, create disposable email addresses, store your site logins, and so on. But MaskMe does a great job of integrating all of these into a single Chrome extension, which is well designed and easy to use.

If you need even more, though, a MaskMe Premium service can provide a disposable phone number, as well as syncing your account with MaskMe installations on other computers and the MaskMe iPhone app. This costs $5 a month, and you can find out more from within MaskMe (click Home > Masked Phones).

Photo Credit: andrea michele piacquadio/Shutterstock

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