New privacy tools foils spam with fake email addresses

There's a new weapon available to people fighting the war on spam -- one that lets them protect their information by never giving it away in the first place.

The free version of MaskMe, a new tool from Abine, lets people create alias email addresses that they can use instead of their real addresses when websites ask for their contact information.

MaskMe forwards email from the alias address to a person's regular account. Users can shut off the forwarding if they get annoyed with a particular sender. The free version also has a password generator and secure storage for those passwords.

Many of the components of MaskMe are individually available elsewhere. But Abine has put them together into an extension for Chrome and Firefox browsers.

A premium version of MaskMe, available with a $5-per-month subscription, has several other tools, including one that creates "virtual" credit-card numbers that can be linked it to the user's real account and another that creates alias phone numbers.

The subscription makes iOS and Android versions of MaskMe available to mobile users.

This version of this story was originally published in Computerworld's print edition. It was adapted from an article that appeared earlier on Computerworld.com.

Read more about applications in Computerworld's Applications Topic Center.

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