You’ll love masked emails (even if marketers hate them)

Share this article

Picture this. You’re in the market for discount razors and you come across a site with a deal too good to pass up. You’ve read some reviews and are impressed enough to pull the trigger.

You pick your razors, enter the promo code, and hit the checkout. Now you’re being asked to enter your email address and create an account password. No big deal, right? That depends on how much you trust the site and their partners — and their partners’ partners.

When you sign up somewhere using your real email, you’re trusting the site to keep your email private. And maybe their privacy policy is rock-solid enough for you to believe that they won’t share your email with others for monetary gain.

But what happens if the site shares your email with their partners, and then they share it with other partners? Now your email address is out there for anyone to see — and your inbox is flooded with emails you never asked for from companies you’ve never heard of.

Or, even worse, what happens if the site gets hacked? Now your email and password are out there for everyone to see.

That’s why FigLeaf masked emails are perfect. 

Instead of entering your real email address, FigLeaf gives you an alternate email to use.

Here’s how it works:

1. On a signup page or anywhere you’re asked for an email address, FigLeaf asks if you want to use a masked email instead of your real one.

2. Say yes and FigLeaf generates a random, alternate email with a special FigLeaf address.

3. If you’re creating an account, FigLeaf also generates a hard-to-crack password.

4. FigLeaf saves the random email address and unique password.

5. When you come back to the site to log in, FigLeaf enters the info for you.

Masked emails are so easy to use, you’ll never want to give out your real email address again. And you won’t have to. That’s because when the site you sign up at sends something to your masked email address, FigLeaf automatically forwards it to your real email. You can even reply back from your real inbox. The recipient will only see your masked email.

Avoid breaches with masked emails

When you sign up somewhere using your real email, you put your personal info at risk. If the site gets hacked, your email address and password for that account could be exposed for anyone to see. And because a lot of us use the same password across multiple accounts (a really bad idea, by the way), hackers can do a lot of damage with just one breached email and password.

But masked emails are unique for every account. So, if the site you signed up at gets hacked, no one will know your email address and your other accounts will remain private.

Block emails without unsubscribing

Masked emails are automatically forwarded to your real email. By default, it’s the one you used when signing up for FigLeaf, but you can change the address in the FigLeaf app. You can also block emails in a snap without letting the sender know that you no longer want to hear from them.

This is a big, big deal. Most emails that hit your inbox come with unsubscribe links, but successfully unsubscribing is often a lot more complicated than simply clicking a link. Those unsubscribe links often lead to a page where you’re asked to unsubscribe to only one or two things and stay subscribed to others.

And if you manage to unsubscribe to everything, the site will try every trick in the book to get you to change your mind — everything from asking you why you want to unsubscribe (it’s really none of their business) to hitting you with puppy pics begging you to stay. 

If precious golden retrievers don’t force a change of heart, expect a follow-up email asking you if you’re sure. And more puppies. Lots and lots of puppies.

At FigLeaf, we love puppies. Kittens too. But we won’t bother you with any of them. You can turn off masked email forwarding and block messages from senders — all without unsubscribing.

Know who’s responsible for all that spam

If you’re noticing a lot of spam in your inbox, it’s easy to find out which site is responsible. Because every masked email is unique, all you need to do is check the To: field of the spam message for your FigLeaf masked email address. Then, cross-reference it with your accounts in the FigLeaf app.

Choose masked emails for any site — or don’t

FigLeaf always lets you control your privacy, so you can use a masked email on one site while sharing your real email with another. Your level of privacy is always your call — and that’s the way it should be.

Author: FigLeaf Team