On Monday, Abine announced a new privacy add-on called MaskMe. MaskMe promises to protect your personal information by creating custom aliases that "mask" your log-in information.
"In today's world of big data and NSA surveillance, consumers are realizing that any personal information they give away can be exploited," said Bill Kerrigan, Abine CEO. "The real lesson is to stop giving out your personal data in the first place. That used to be difficult for consumers, who didn't have a choice if they wanted to use online services."
The full service includes masking aliases for all channels of contact, including e-mail, phone numbers, and even credit card numbers. In a sense, it works like a hybrid between KeyPass, and PayPal, giving users the ability to manage their accounts and passwords. You can automatically generate an e-mail alias and dummy password within a form or manually add an account for any Web service. The result is the ability to access all the benefits of Internet services without compromising or really putting your actual personal data at risk.
The basic version includes unlimited disposable e-mails and auto-fill forms so that you don't have to constantly fill out standard Web forms. MaskMe will remember all your account credentials, which you can manage and access from the MaskMe homepage. The premium tier unlocks masked phone numbers and credit cards -- an extra layer of security.
After a few days of use, we found using MaskMe to be surprisingly nondisruptive and quite useful. The beauty of MaskMe is that from a front-end perspective, it feels more like an account management app than a needy security measure. You can control what e-mails from companies get through to your inbox and block any unwanted spam mail from even "well-intentioned" companies if you prefer to just sign up for an account but never want to hear from them again.
Credit card masking is another noteworthy feature: if you opt for the premium service, you can create dummy credit card numbers with spend caps that you can enable or disable at any point. Any online shopping done with these masked cards will show up on your statements as simply purchases from Abine, regardless of which vendor you may have shopped from.
Abine's latest product is geared toward those who want to enjoy the most out of the Web without sacrificing their personal data in the process. Though there are still many alternative methods, ranging from creating your own separate dummy accounts to complete net abstinence, MaskMe offers a happy medium, sure to please both the casually careful user and identity theft paranoid netizen, alike.
Now you never have to give out your personal information online again.
MaskMe creates disposable email addresses, phone numbers, and credit cards, so now you can enjoy all the web has to offer without giving away your personal data in exchange.
- Every time you sign up for a site or shop, MaskMe will be by your side.
- Choose to Mask your email address, phone number, or credit card, using unique, disposable info that MaskMe creates and autofills on the spot. It works instantly, every time, everywhere.
- MaskMe ensures you never miss important communication, but also puts you in control so you can stop spammers, telemarketers, and hackers in one click.
Get ready for a faster, more private web with MaskMe. MaskMe is free to download and use with optional premium features.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Check out the FAQ: http://abine.com/maskme/faq/
August 07, 2013
Version: MaskMe for Chrome 1.24
Good password creation. Good disposable e-mail address.
There are still bugs to be ironed out with Google Chrome. Doesn't always open, doesn't always provide email and password or remember them on the system when it does. (Abine are currently working on this). IN THE UK YOU CANNOT USE THE CREDIT CARD AND TELEPHONE FACILITY.
Good system and when the Chrome problem is sorted out, will be and excellent system. If you use it (as I do now) make sure you back up any passwords etc., in case it wipes them and leaves you having to set accounts with web companies from square one.
July 28, 2013
Version: MaskMe for Chrome 1.24
Not only does the basic version create anonymous ("masked") e-mail accounts that will forward e-mail from the sender to your regular e-mail account that you specify on set-up, thus masking your true e-mail address, but I was initially surprised to find it to be an outstanding password manager. It will generate and store fully encrypted passwords (I believe they're using 256-bit encryption, but my memory fails me here.) for sites, locked by a master password. It's as easy to use as Last Pass, and probably more secure.
Although it's a breeze to use when setting up new credentials, it's not always functional when you try to change your information on a site you're currently using. For example, it wouldn't kick-in when I tried changing my e-mail address on file with CNET, but I'm still trying different approaches. In some cases, say with particularly sensitive accounts, you might be better off cancelling your account first, and then set up a new one. Also a note to beta-testers : with the release of the stable version, you may find that your beta version no longer works and if, like me, you're using Chrome , it has crashed all of your extensions. I remedied this by disabling all of my extensions, removing MaskMe, doing a browser restart, re-enabling my extensions, and reinstalling MaskMe from the Chrome store. There may be an easier route, but this worked for me.
I was fortunate to get in on the beta version of MaskMe, and I'm really glad I did. This is the coolest extension since (dare I say it?) TrackMeNot. Personal privacy is slipping away from us little by little every day, and too many people are simply complacent. We've become a nation of sheep, and I'm so glad that there are companies like Abine, and organizations like the EFF attempting to do something about it. The bottom line, 'though, is that YOU are the only one who can protect your privacy (that's if you care enough to do so) and great extensions like MaskMe are one of many ways to empower yourself to do so. I'd like to extend my thanks to Abine for developing MaskMe - you guys rock !