Most of us still give out our real personal emails all the time – we shouldn’t be so quick to share them as the Home Depot data breach demonstrates where hackers not only stole credit cards but also 53 million users email addresses.
Chances are your email or a family members email is now being sold online – perhaps matched with corresponding credit card information. Everyone should be more cautious about sharing their real email when they are creating accounts with passwords because most people re-use passwords across sites. This allows hackers to easily run “scripts” which are automated bot programs which will try and submit your email and password to web site login pages where you might have accounts at a rate of up to 1,000 web sites per second. Do you re-use the same email and password? If so, hackers will have full access to your accounts in the time it takes to read these lines.
Most people don’t know where or how to stop giving out their real email address – after all, we need to sign up to receive messages from the sites we access. Fortunately, in 2014 there are tools users can use to make unique email addresses where they can still easily receive emails. One easy service users can use to give out unique email addresses is “Mailinator.com” which allows anyone to create a new @mailnator.com address and check emails sent to it online.
A second is Abine’s product Blur. Blur is a password manager with the ability to create “Masked Emails”. Masked Emails are free, convenient, and more secure than Mailinator. With Blur, you can create unlimited unique emails which forward back to their real private email address automatically and securely. These two services are growing fast and deliver over 100M emails monthly to users who love it because their inboxes stay clean and their accounts secure.
Here’s how Masked Emails work. The next time you’re asked for your email address at a website, you’ll see a pop-up from Blur, asking if you’d like to Mask your email or Use your email. Click Mask my email and Blur will generate a fully functioning Masked Email. If they start to spam you, block them with one click.
A side benefit to all this security? You can stop getting so much Spam! Click here to watch a quick video on how Masked Emails work.
4 Tips for better email use in public:
1. Don’t put your email online in public even on your resume – use LinkedIn instead to keep it protected.
2. Google regularly to check if your email is online and remove it from places where it’s found. (Abine’s DeleteMe service can help assist)
3. Use unique emails – and a service like Blur’s Masked Emails to easily make unique emails when creating accounts or shopping.
4. When creating an account where you use your real email, always use a unique password.
What do you think? Have you ever tried a service to protect your personal email address? Why or why not?
Try it out. Sign up for Blur now.