1Password is launching a new feature to let users create unique email aliases for logins, much like Apple’s iCloud Plus Hide My Email function. 1Password is partnering with Fastmail to bring its masked email feature to the password manager, giving all users the option of hiding their email addresses from apps and services.
“Your email address is your online identity,” explains Bron Gondwana, CEO of Fastmail. “If your credentials are compromised in a data breach, having a randomly generated email address adds a second line of defense because it can’t be associated with your primary email address, and therefore, your identity.”
This new masked email feature will be ideal for registering accounts for temporary purposes, like a free Wi-Fi network. But they can also be used to hide your personal email address from any app or service as the aliases don’t expire unless a 1Password user manually deletes them.
Email aliases already exist in Gmail, Outlook, and other email services. If your regular email address is firstname.lastname@example.org, you can simply use email@example.com and emails will appear in your firstname.lastname@example.org inbox. Aliases are a good way to cut down on spam, but the 1Password Fastmail integration takes it a step further by making it impossible for scammers to figure out your actual email address.
Attackers often use leaked databases of reused passwords and email addresses to phish people, but they need both your email address and password to access a service. Victims of a leaked data breach are at less risk if both their password and email address are unique.
Services like Have I Been Pwned have been tracking data breaches for years, and affected email addresses often appear in more than just one breach. “My service is now tracking 5 billion email addresses with each one appearing in an average of 2 data breaches,” says Troy Hunt, the founder of Have I Been Pwned and strategic advisor at 1Password. “It’s more important than ever that we protect our privacy; and protecting the primary key to our digital lives – our email address – will have a really positive impact.”