Burners aren’t just for phones anymore: Firefox’s new Private Relay browser extension lets users create email aliases to keep personal accounts off spam lists and away from hackers.
“We all make many online accounts, but most of them are linked to one or two of our email addresses,” the product page said. “This means if just one account is hacked or tracked, every other account and its associated data is now also at risk.”
Enter Private Relay. The feature is perfect for protecting your identity when joining a free app trial, filling out web forms, or signing up for a newsletter. Simply click the relay button to generate a unique, random, anonymous email address that forwards to your real one. Once you’re finished with a service, disable or destroy that account to stop receiving messages.
As ZDNet pointed out, the concept of email aliases is not new, but keeping up with various accounts can be confusing and messy. Google and Facebook have tried to tackle the problem by allowing folks to sign into third-party sites with existing credentials. Apple announced a similar approach last year.
“Sign in with Apple” gives users the option to share or hide their email when accessing supported applications and websites; choose the latter to create a random address through which developer messages are funneled. The feature is available in iOS 13, iPadOS 13.1, watchOS 6, macOS Catalina, and tvOS 13. This new option from Mozilla requires an invitation to download and try for now as it’s still in the testing phase and not expected to formally launch later this year. The extension’s open-source code is available online, though.