Introducing MaskMe: why ever give away your real personal info online?

MaskMe launch logoWe’ve been hard at work for over a year on a new privacy tool, and it’s finally time to share it with you. World, meet MaskMe.

Until now, you haven’t had much of a choice in whether you give out your real personal info online. Whether you’re shopping, signing up for accounts, entering contests, or whatever you do on the web, it seems like every company demands your contact info just to use their services.

And when you hand over your info, suddenly you’re exposed to all kinds of risks, like spam, data breaches, or profiling. Every day, there’s another story about how companies are losing, abusing, or misusing your data.

data breach statistics

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.

Well, now you don’t have to. 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.  

masked credit card

See how each feature works in 30 seconds with our quick illustrated explanations:

With MaskMe, we’re shifting the power of the web back to you, where it belongs. If you start getting spammed at a Masked Email address, block it with one click. If you bought something on ShoppingSite.com with a Masked Credit Card and then they have a data breach, no worries: your purchases were never linked to your real credit card. If telemarketers start harassing you on your Masked Phone number, one tap from within MaskMe and they’re gone for good.

MaskMe abine

Abine is a privacy-by-design company with a simple, understandable privacy policy and a firm stance never to sell user data. MaskMe uses AES-256 encryption with row-level salts for extra-sensitive info, data minimization, and host-proof hosting (so not even we have your passwords or encryption keys).

Today, we’re launching MaskMe with free unlimited Masked Emails, safe passwords, and account storage (including on the cloud) as an add-on for Chrome and Firefox. Some of the powerful features, like Masked Phone and Masked Credit Cards, require a $5/month subscription to MaskMe Premium. MaskMe Premium also lets you use the MaskMe Mobile for Android and iOS, so you can access your info anywhere you are.

Here are the features you’ll get for each MaskMe plan:

MaskMe plans and pricing

MaskMe has great privacy features, but it’s bigger than that: it makes browsing better. Logging into websites is faster. You won’t have to get up and grab your wallet because MaskMe will autofill credit card info. You can sign up for new accounts without fear of spam, knowing you have an unsubscribe button that always works.

We think MaskMe really is the next big thing, not only for privacy, but for controlling your own online life. Now you get to interact with companies and websites on your terms, but still get all the benefits of the web that you want.

Please give MaskMe a try today and let us know what you think—we love to hear from you, and we take your opinions and feedback very seriously.

And if you love MaskMe, please tell the world! We’d really appreciate it. Here are a few quick ways to do so:

MaskMe email iconEmail people you think would appreciate MaskMe with this quick note:

I started using a privacy tool called MaskMe and I thought you’d like it. It’s a free browser add-on for Firefox and Chrome and it lets you create safe, masked email addresses, credit cards, and phone numbers. You can get it (and read more) at www.abine.com/maskme.

MaskMe twitter iconClick here to open a pre-filled tweet (or just copy and paste it from below):

Never give out your real info again with #MaskMe, a new free #privacy tool from @abine. I recommend it! www.abine.com/maskme

MaskMe facebook iconCopy and paste this text on Facebook, Google+, or LinkedIn, or anywhere else:

Never give out your real info again with #MaskMe, a new free #privacy tool from @abine. I recommend it! www.abine.com/maskme

 




23 comments shared on this article:

  • gattagh says:

    Wow, great product…..the credit card masking is particularly interesting! I’m outside the US though, so at the moment it looks like I can only consider the email feature.

    I look forward to testing it out over the coming weeks.

    A couple of questions:

    - Is the credit card masking available outside the USA? It seems there’s no Credit Card FAQ yet.

    - Presumably MaskMe customers are free to use masked data when interfacing with companies that collect customer data via an offline interface? Could one generate a number of masked email addresses, store them e.g. in a mobile note app, and hold them in reserve until needed?

    Another couple of things:

    - in the FAQ you have the same response to two different questions: “Unfortunately, at this time you can’t initiate a conversation using a Masked Email. We hope to add this feature soon.”. Would be good to get the proper answer to the second one.

    - for the question “How do I access my MaskMe accounts from a different device or browser where I don’t have MaskMe installed?” there’s a link in the third paragraph to https://abine.com/maskme/faq/ – I suspect that link should be https://abine.com/maskme/data-use as in the following Q&A.

  • Jeff A Lionz says:

    This MaskMe concept seems like a great idea and the cost is super reasonable, but what do you recommend in terms of existing sites where they have my personal info already, places like Amazon, my Bank Account, Facebook, any number of sites where I have accounts set-up already?

    • Hey there. Yeah, MaskMe is better suited to a “privacy from this point on” use rather than adapting all your existing accounts into it. You can certainly do that by generating masked info from within MaskMe, logging into the site you want to change, going to settings, and manually inputting your masked info. There’s no mass account import, though.

  • Duncan Jones says:

    Are you working on a non-US version of Mask Me….?? Given that the world is a fairly small place now and nearly all organisations operate across international boundaries, what is it with the current design of “Mask Me” that makes it US-centric…??

    • gparyani says:

      There is a way to use MaskMe’s phone numbers internationally, although it is more costly and more involved. I was talking about it with employee Kristina earlier today.

    • Yep, we are. The free version of MaskMe will work anywhere in the world, but the premium phone and credit card features will not. It’s only those 2 features that are limited by geographic area at the moment, but we’re working on expanding those.

  • Chris says:

    I do wish the landing page for the domain(s) was a little more “polished” – such as opayq dot com. It serves its utilitarian purpose, yes, but could look more professional to those who get curious about our masked emails and check them. Also, the footer is askew on my mobile devices with 3 empty bullet points before the About and Legal links. Not complaining, just a suggestion.

    • gparyani says:

      Actually, I think it would be better if it didn’t mention anything about MaskMe at all. This way, the company would not even know that opayq.com was from MaskMe.

    • Good suggestion. I’m with you. We’ll make that prettier and I’ll post you an update when it’s finished.

      Update: check it out now at http://opayq.com/

      • levit says:

        I agree with gparyani – I’d prefer a nondescript home page for opayq.com. Although, I can understand why you’d want to use it to get new customers.

        • Yeah, it’s a balance between simplicity/nondescript and scaring people because it’s SO simple that it doesn’t look connected to us at all. Hopefully we struck that balance okay with what’s currently up there.

  • JOHN SCANDALIOS says:

    Do you have a version that works with MAC operating systems?

  • kazi says:

    How about money transfer through ” MaskMe” credit card? If I get some money transferred to MaskMe credit card , can I transfer it to my actual credit card ?

    • Think of a Masked Card just like a prepaid credit card, only that it’s virtual. In that sense, you can’t put money from a Masked Card back onto your real card.

      There’s only one case in which you can do it: if you make a Masked Card, then change your mind and want that money back on your real card, just hit “deactivate” on that card in MaskMe to refund it instantly to your real credit card.

  • Chris says:

    Oh, very pretty! Looks great on mobile, too. Thanks!

  • levit says:

    All seems to be working nicely so far, except for one minor gripe.

    As I’ve been building up a large number of new email addresses with the Mask Me tool, I’ve noticed that the sorting function doesn’t seem to work for the “used for” and “email” columns.

    I’d expect that sorting on these columns would arrange the lists in order alphabetically/numerically. It seems to be somewhat random.

    By the time I’ve worked through all my accounts, I’ll end up with about 100 different masked emails, so being able to sort the lists logically will be important.

    Please could you look into getting this bug fixed?

    Thanks!

    • Hey there-

      I know you talked to Kristina in support, but just so other people who may have the same request as you can see it, here’s her response: “Yes, I will share this with our engineers to see if there is anything we can do. For this to be upgraded it should come out within the next couple of releases depending on other priorities. We appreciate your good eye and welcome any further thoughts or suggestions.”

  • Potential Developer says:

    Do you have an API for these services?

    For instance, if someone wanted to utilize the credit-card masking service, but not the email masking, using a third-party mobile app (i.e not your app), would you allow it?

  • Potential Developer says:

    Can we utilize these services using an API? Specifically, I was considering using phone masking and credit card masking programmatically, but delegating email masking to Gmail’s email label functionality (i.e. “acco...@gmail.com

    • Hey potential developer- there’s no MaskMe API currently, and I don’t think we’re likely to expose a public API outside of the MaskMe client. I’ll let you know if that changes.

  • Thor Azgard says:

    The Maskme credit card feature appears to have stopped working, I keep getting an error message when I try to create a new masked card saying (“Oops! Something went wrong. Click to report this issue”). I don’t know if this is a general issue but I hope it gets sorted soon, otherwise I won’t be able to rely on this service or recommend it either.

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