We’ve long been fans of online privacy firm Abine. The Boston-based team has been hard at work for over a year on a new privacy tool called MaskMe and we’re so excited by this awesome new product.
Check out this MarketWatch review published earlier this month that explains what makes MaskMe so unique:
“Services like MaskMe…attach to a Google Chrome or Firefox browser. It creates and manages disposable email addresses and generates secure passwords, and whenever you sign up for a website, MaskMe offers users the option to give out their real information or create a temporary “safe mask” that can’t be traced back to a user’s real email address and other contact details. For a fee of $5 per month, it will also provide temporary credit card numbers for making purchases online: The retailer won’t know who made the purchase, and the credit card company also won’t have access to what the consumer bought.”
Can I Have Your Email?
How many times have you been standing at a checkout and the cashier ask for your email address as just a normal part of purchasing a new pair of socks or batteries? Why do stores even collect such personal information? Most of us have learned to say “uh, no thanks!” to those invasive requests, but there’s never been an easy way to skirt the issue when shopping or socializing online. Until now!
According to Abine, companies want desperately to know the real you because it benefits them, but why would you want to show yourself? There’s no benefit to you, the user, to giving out your real info online. MaskMe lets you easily create aliases — or masks — of the personal info that matters most: your credit card, email address, and phone number. They forward to your real contact info, so you’ll still get all your messages, but you can block them later. Use them just like you normally do when shopping or filling out forms, but companies never get your real info.
MaskMe isn’t just for creating safe aliases: it also securely stores your accounts and logins, helps you register and log into accounts, and lets you generate strong passwords with one click. If you trust a certain site, you can automatically fill in the registration info with your real data. Plus you can always get to your accounts through the MaskMe browser add-on, the MaskMe website, or the MaskMe Mobile app.
By flooding the web with alias info, companies will have a harder time knowing the real person behind the mask. And if there’s ever a data breach, your information is much safer because you’ve used a unique credit card, email, and password on the compromised site that isn’t the same anywhere else.
Consider this very small glimpse into a much bigger, more widespread problem affecting companies large and small:
- Sony lost 77 million records in 2011.
- LivingSocial lost 50 million records in 2012.
- Zappos.com lost 24 million records in 2012.
- TJ Maxx lost 47.5 million records in 2007.
Almost every website you visit asks for your personal info, so you end up handing out your email address, phone number, and credit card all over the Internet. But if your information is hacked or stolen – keep in mind that one person is victimized every three seconds – it’ll cost an average of $4,930 but perhaps much more.
Coupon for One Free Month of MaskMe
Given the time, expense, headache, and overall frustration of having our sensitive information spied on, stolen, or otherwise compromised, we’re thankful to Abine for its generous and exclusive coupon to try one free month of MaskMe Premium.
You can download the browser add-on for free for Firefox and Chrome at www.abine.com/maskme. Use the coupon code PWMASKONE for a free month of MaskMe Premium, which also gets you Masked Credit Card and Masked Phone features.