Category Archives: Uncategorized

This is why you should be using an email address masking service.

33mail has been operating for nearly 10 years now and a question that I continually get asked is why would someone want to use a service such as 33mail. There are a number of good reasons around control of spam and unwanted email, but right now in a world where every move you make online is tracked, online privacy is becoming one of the primary reasons that people are using 33mail and other similar services.

How you are tracked online?

Cookies

Most people know that websites can track you via the use of ‘cookies’ which are at their simplest just text that is stored by your browser for a specific website and passed back to that website every time you visit that site.

Cookies are used extensively by marketeers to track what websites you go to and if you purchase goods or services based on certain ad clicks and to actively target you around the web via traditional ad networks. Tracking this way is getting more difficult given the rise of ad blockers and even browsers built to prevent tracking via third party cookies, such as Safari which is working on the ITP standard.

There are 2 types of cookie generally used, first party and third party :

First party cookies are only accessible to the website that they are set on. They are primarily used for tracking login sessions and can also be used by analytics tools such as Google Analytics for session tracking. In a lot of cases first party cookies can add to the user experience within a given website allowing personalized recommendations and analytics for site owners and for the most part they are not an issue as far as privacy is concerned.

Third party cookies are the basis of trackers that follow you around the internet and allow highly targeted advertising. These are what will be heavily restricted by newer privacy focused browsers and their use is generally not a requirement for the web to work effectively so you would be forgiven for assuming that if you use a modern privacy focused browser like safari or firefox you are safe from third party tracking.

The end of the world wide web

The world wide web as it was initially envisioned no longer exists. The web used to be a highly decentralized mix of websites and services which were very loosely coupled, which led to the development of existing cookie based tracking technologies. Current efforts to curtail online tracking only address the internet as it was, not as it is today where the primary interactions that most people have over the internet are are via huge walled gardens such as Facebook, Twitter and Google. These services are based around an identity which is keyed on an email address. This brings us to the problem that email masking can solve.

How are you tracked using your email address

If an advertiser has your email address they can easily use it to target you on any closed network (such as facebook or google) where your email address is the primary form of identity. This means that anywhere that you use your email address, such as signing up for newsletters, online stores or any other online service, can sell your address (or a cryptographic hash of your email address) to marketeers so that they can retarget you in the same way as they would in a traditional cookie based advertising network.

Enter 33mail

This is where 33mail is so useful in protecting your privacy and your online identity from abuse. When you use a new alias for each service that you sign up for there is no way to identify you across these services.

Sign up here and try it out today.

2 Factor Authentication

We have just enabled 2 Factor Authentication for all users. You can access it on the 33mail dashboard settings page.

To activate it on your account you will need a Google Authenticator compatible app such as Authy.

Simply scan the QR code with your app, enter the token and click the ‘Verify & Activate’ button.

If you then log out and log back in again you will be required to input your auth token after your password entry.

 

A new Email Forwarding Service for your domain by 33mails creator

I have been working for the last few months on a new service to address the need for a simple email forwarding service for your domain which allows users to be onboarded in as simple a way as possible. This stems from a few requests we have had from 33mail users for a similar service.

So picture this :

You are a business owner, Max, who has a number of employees who already have an email account but don’t have an email address at your business domain, say maxsbusiness.com.

Joan is one such employee and she already has a personal gmail account but has no idea how to set up a new email account for ‘sending mail as’ in gmail, along with Max not having the time or skillset to set it up for her.

Enter EmailEngine.io

Max sets up his domain on EmailEngine and adds the relevant DNS records, he then just creates a new email address for Joan forwarding to her gmail account and that’s it.

Joan will receive any emails sent to joan@maxsbusiness.com in her Gmail account as they are simply forwarded by EmailEngine, and she can just reply to them as she normally would, but any replies are routed through EmailEngine and the headers modified so that the reply will appear to come from joan@maxsbusiness.com rather than her gmail account.

EmailEngine also supports outgoing smtp if that needs to be set up but at its very simplest it provides a way to let people use business email addresses with zero setup on their side.

I have plans for further enhancements to the service in future but the basic service is now live.

You can check it out here and I would appreciate any feedback.

Pay with your favourite cryptocurrency

We have just enabled payments using cryptocurrencies other than Bitcoin via coinpayments.net. Just click the button on the invoice page and you will be brought to coinpayments.net to complete your premium or pro purchase using cryptocurrencies such as Ether, Dash, Monero and more.

If there is another crypto that you would like to pay with then let us know and we will do our best to enable it.

Introducing the 33mail Chrome Extension

We have just released the initial version of the 33Mail Chrome extension here.

The main purpose of this extension is to make creating a 33mail alias as simple as possible. Whenever you visit a site and the extension detects an email address signup field it will automatically fill in an appropriate 33mail alias saving you the trouble of doing all that typing. You can also choose to have it not auto-fill the email address fields and rather only fill it when you click on the handy button in your browser bar.

We already find the extension very useful and hope that our users do too. We would love to hear your feedback and feature requests for the extension so leave a comment here or on the extension page here.