Every time you sign up for a web service or buy something online, you’re entrusting some company with your information — whether your email address, an account login, or your credit card number. MaskMe is a new browser extension from Abine — the makers of DoNotTrackMe — that lets you hide your real info, instead generating fake email addresses, credit card numbers, and even telephone numbers that all point to the real thing. The idea promises all the benefits of using your real information while letting you insulate yourself from prying eyes and data breaches.
An "unsubscribe button that always works"
Email masking is free for all users, letting you generate a new address every time you’re asked for one. Messages sent to this new address get forwarded to your master address, which Abine keeps to itself. This makes it easy to block unwanted mail (the company calls it an "unsubscribe button that always works"), and because each disposable address is tied to a single site, you’ll know exactly who coughed it up if and when it gets spammed.
Masked logins — also free — are the same idea. When you’re asked for a password in a web form you get a popup from MaskMe (pictured above) asking if you’d like an auto-generated password. These passwords are encrypted and stored on Abine’s servers, tied to an encrypted master password. In half an hour of testing, we found that storing logins was fast and easy, but retrieving them was a bit of a pain. Unlike some competing products, there's no autocomplete built in for existing logins, but it's easy enough to turn off the password management feature if you have another solution in place.
Calls to the masked number get forwarded to your real phone
Abine also offers a premium service for $5 a month that lets you mask your phone and credit card numbers. For voice calls, Abine will give you a single masked phone number that you can use in lieu of your real one online. Calls to the masked number get forwarded to your real phone, so you don't have to worry about someone being able to reach you in an emergency.
Masked credit cards let you create new, disposable credit card numbers on the fly, much like prepaid debit cards. Charges get sent to your real card as purchases from Abine itself, charges to your virtual cards are handled by payment processing company WEX, and there are no fees other than the aforementioned premium subscription.
Currently only available for Chrome and Firefox
MaskMe is currently only available for Chrome and Firefox, but Abine says it hopes to bring the extension to Safari and Internet Explorer in the future. There are iOS and Android apps as well for managing your stored logins and masked emails on the go, but while they’re free to download, they do require the $5 monthly premium subscription. Abine’s MaskMe extension is available now for download.