Firefox anti-spam extension generates disposable email aliases

The Mozilla Foundation has presented a new extension for its Firefox browser that enables you to replace your real email address with an alias when filling in online forms and thus avoid the phenomenon of spam.

It is a simple equation: the more you give out your email address, the more spam you receive. Instead of handing over precious contact details to just about anyone, wouldn’t it be great to allow them temporary access to your inbox via an alias? This is exactly the functionality offered by Private Relay, an extension just published by Mozilla, which is now available for download in beta version.

The purpose of the extension is to generate random email addresses when filling out online forms, in situations where you are subscribing to services, newsletters or any other offers. These “fake” addresses nonetheless have the advantage of redirecting mail to your genuine inbox, which will thus remain protected from spam sent by robots.

Christened Private Relay, the new add-on creates a new email address for each new form you fill in. Thereafter, all the messages sent to this factitious address are automatically redirected to your usual mail. At any time thereafter, you can simply opt to delete this alias and as a consequence all of the emails that are linked to it.

This concept is not completely new. In 2019, Apple presented a similar functionality “Sign In”, designed to enable users to connect to third-party mobile applications and websites with their Apple IDs, while only giving out random burner-style email addresses so as to preserve confidential personal data.

Download the test version of the Firefox Private Relay extension:

—AFP Relaxnews

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