*Editorial Note: This content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.
This article was last updated Aug 21, 2013, but some terms and conditions may have changed or are no longer available. For the most accurate and up to date information please consult the terms and conditions found on the issuer website.
*Editorial Note-MaskMe has since changed to Blur.
A few weeks ago we included MaskMe in our Credit Cards in the News post, so this may sound familiar to our readers. As an overview, MaskMe is a new program that was developed to protect your personal information that you enter into your browser- things like, credit card information, address, name, social security number- all that that good stuff. This information suddenly makes us prone to spam, identity theft and profiling.
How Does it Work?
MaskMe was designed by a privacy-by-design company, Abine, which uses AES-256 encryption. What is that, you ask? Check here. In short, the encryption allows Abine to work in a way where they use the most minimal amount of information from you in order to keep your personal information completely concealed, even from their own employees. It protects information by masking your emails, storage (like the cloud), and your passwords. It also saves your information, making account access easier with the convenience of auto fill. Spamming becomes a thing of the past because if your masked email gets spammed, you can simply erase the account and stop the spam. Keep in mind that MaskMe may still track your IP address, so just your cookies are no longer tracked. Through the program, you may also see how many sites are attempting to track you.
Registering a New Account
When registering for a new account or when prompted to log in on a website, a pop-up will appear asking you to use MaskMe or to have permission to disclose your real email address. Once you click Mask my Email, a random email will be generated, which will forward on to your real email address. In order to control the email forwarding, simply select the MaskMe icon at the top right hand side of your Chrome or Firefox browser. There, you can see which masked emails are associated with which company, and delete the email addresses that are spamming you. You may also choose to block emails from that email address so you never receive anything in the first place.
What about passwords? MaskMe has you covered there as well. At the same screen that prompts you to select “Mask My Email” or “Disclose My Email”, you have the option to let MaskMe generate a unique and difficult password for you. All account information can be managed through the program and MaskMe auto fills your Masked information for you. Use more than one browser? You’re covered there as well. Your web browsers can all be synced with the browser the program is set up on, currently excluding Safari and Explorer. There’s also a lock feature that comes in handy if there are many users on the same computer. They’ve really thought of everything! Read here for a step-by-step description.
What We Like
Everything! There’s a lot to be said about this kind of technology and we believe it will certainly be a game changer in how online marketing moves in the future, especially with retargeting. MaskMe is free to use and who doesn’t like free? You also have the option to upgrade from a free account to an account that’s only $5 per month, which allows you to mask your phone numbers (including mobile), sync all devices, online backup and access, mask card numbers, and have peace of mind with guaranteed satisfaction. Logging in to these websites that use your masked information is faster because your information is saved in the actual program. Responding to emails from your real address that was forwarded from a masked address will automatically change the sender address to the masked one, so you continue to remain private. Yea, the same goes for phone calls. Here are some more FAQs about the program.
What We’re Not so Crazy About
There are not too many downsides. It’s still in Beta and improvements will likely be made, but that’s yet to be determined. Currently, Maskme works as “from-here-forward” for spam protection and can’t do anything about existing emails that are being spammed. MaskMe won’t automatically pop-up on some websites, but you can get around that by right-clicking in the box and find “Mask My Email,” or you may enter the domain address in the online MaskMe interface to get an email generated. Yea, there are a few extra steps to take to ensure your cookies aren’t being tracked all over the web, but the few minutes lost is nothing in comparison to the time it would take you to find who is spamming you and how you can opt-out or unsubscribe. If you start receiving phone calls from unwanted solicitors due to obtaining your tracked information, how will you solve that? Would you rather change your number for a fee, block the number through your provider for another fee, or just ignore it, every single time, OR, simply login to MaskMe and delete the number associated with the account that’s forwarding calls and texts to your real phone number, for free? You decide.
Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.
*The content in this article is accurate at the publishing date, and may be subject to changes per the card issuer.