Mozilla's email alias feature will protect your real address from spammers

midian182

Posts: 6,005   +50
Staff member

The experimental feature, which is a Firefox add-on, allows users to simply click a Private Relay button in their browser to fill a web form with a “unique, random, anonymous” email address. Mozilla will then forward emails from the alias to your real inbox.

The idea behind the feature is that should an alias address be shared with advertisers or become part of a data breach and end up in the hands of spammers, it can easily be disabled or deleted.

Right now, Private Relay is an invite-only alpha release. Mozilla says it will add a wait-list at relay.firefox.com soon. According to ZDNet, the company is preparing to launch the service sometime later in the year.

While spam filters do catch many junk emails, there are those that get through, you can also unsubscribe from many mailing lists, but that can sometimes be a hassle. Simply deleting an email alias is an easier option.

Email aliases are far from new, having been around for decades. But they can also be arduous to set up, especially for less tech-savvy users.

Back at its WWDC 2019 developer conference, Apple announced its email alias feature—Sign in with Apple. The company was later sued by the developer of the BlueMail app, Blix, which claimed the feature infringes on patented technology

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hk2000

Posts: 146   +75
TechSpot Elite
Unless they randomize and rotate the domains constantly, it'll end up like all other such services: being blocked by most sites.
Why would it be blocked? As I understand it, It's just a random, but actual email address that if Firefox tells you what it is, you can use just as any other email address.
 

hk2000

Posts: 146   +75
TechSpot Elite
That is a great feature. I've been using a similar option in Outlook. Outlook allows you to have as many aliases as you want and you can use them in the same manner as this add-on is promising.
 

bviktor

Posts: 216   +396
Why would it be blocked? As I understand it, It's just a random, but actual email address that if Firefox tells you what it is, you can use just as any other email address.
Ask the sites that block them. I guess because it makes it harder to track you. They ask for your email address for a reason.
 

jpuroila

Posts: 223   +117
Why would it be blocked? As I understand it, It's just a random, but actual email address that if Firefox tells you what it is, you can use just as any other email address.
For the same reasons why the sites ask for an email address in the first place. For starters, anything that lets you not enter an actual email address that is associated with an actual person makes things easier for spammers, ban evaders, etc. (obviously those people have other ways of working around email verification, but that's not an excuse to make things easier for them).
 

hk2000

Posts: 146   +75
TechSpot Elite
For the same reasons why the sites ask for an email address in the first place. For starters, anything that lets you not enter an actual email address that is associated with an actual person makes things easier for spammers, ban evaders, etc. (obviously those people have other ways of working around email verification, but that's not an excuse to make things easier for them).
This is not letting you enter something other than an actual email address- IT IS AN EMAIL ADDRESS. I don't get what's so hard to understand- they can actually email you their spam, but since it has its own Inbox, it doesn't really matter- you can cancel it after you've done what you wanted to do when you went to that site in the first place. Like I said, I use the feature from outlook, and I've never been blocked. .
 

jpuroila

Posts: 223   +117
This is not letting you enter something other than an actual email address- IT IS AN EMAIL ADDRESS. I don't get what's so hard to understand- they can actually email you their spam, but since it has its own Inbox, it doesn't really matter- you can cancel it after you've done what you wanted to do when you went to that site in the first place. Like I said, I use the feature from outlook, and I've never been blocked. .
It's not hard to understand at all, you're just completely missing my point. Yes, it's an email address, but it's an automatically generated(as opposed to user-created) email address deliberately designed to circumvent all the reasons why sites require an email address in the first place.