Going online to do things like making purchases is very convienient. So much so, that it’s easy to end up with bits and pieces of your personal information spread out across the web for some hacker to just connect the dots. Sites and companies can’t guarantee your information will be safe. They can only promise to do their best to safeguard your information once you give it up.
Here’s an idea: How about you just don’t give it up in the first place? That’s the angle the privacy company Abine is going for with its latest product called MaskMe that (you guessed it) masks your real information from companies so you can do things online without actually signing over your first born giving up your personal info.
MaskMe is a browser extension (Firefox and Chrome only…sorry Safari and IE) that lets you choose to mask your email adress when filling out an online form, making a purchase, etc. Doing so, will put a fake email address in the form to satisfy the required information, but you will still be able to receive the emails because your real email is attached to MaskMe when you create an account.
MaskMe will forward emails to your real inbox and will indicate what messages are coming from a masked email address. This is handy because if you get an email from a company that you KNOW you didn’t sign up for, MaskMe will essentially “tattle” on them by clearly showing you the [digital] paper trial. You can also choose what companies you want to block from even reaching your inbox.
MaskMe is free if you just want to hide your email address, which you almost have to give to everyone all the time when doing anything online. More sensitive information often used when making purchases like your phone number and credit card information can also be hidden by MaskMe if you pony up $5/month for the premium subscription. For some, 5 bucks may be an even trade if it makes them feel more secure about their online personal information.
It’s pretty hard nowadays to use the web without handing over parts of your personal information to…who knows. Sure, you have to give your information over to MaskMe so they can help you refrain from giving it to others. It would be like the pot calling the kettle black if MaskMe could, without a doubt, say your information is safe with them either. But, with MaskMe, at the very least, you have piece of mind in knowing that your information is only stored in one location versus spread out all over the innanets.
Image credit: MaskMe