Mozilla announced this week that the Firefox Relay extension, released in 2020, will be integrated directly into the browser. Relay provides users with secure, easy-to-use email aliases and phone masking to ensure identity privacy and the ability to register new accounts anonymously, as well as block spam and unwanted calls and receive only the messages they need.
Email aliases or masks allow you to hide your real email address. When a user enters their address when filling out a form on a website, Relay substitutes a one-time alias in the form instead of the actual mailing address. And soon this feature will be available directly in the Firefox browser. Since 2020, Relay has been distributed as an extension, which may have prevented such a privacy-friendly feature from truly becoming mainstream, even though Mozilla offers up to five email masks for free to all Relay users.
What most people don’t know is that Relay lets them easily block email tracking and spam, not to mention protecting their privacy after endless data breaches. Even with a single email mask in use, a user can hide their real address, making their account much more difficult to take over. And when the user creates a new alias for each website and application, a cyber criminal’s job becomes extremely complicated.
With upcoming browser integration, email masking should become much more convenient and common. Before Firefox Relay and other similar services like DuckDuckGo Email Protection and SimpleLogin, it was theoretically possible for users to create their own email aliases, but it was costly, technical, and reserved for the elite – you had to buy, create, and create your own domain manually track usage of each alias through a cumbersome web interface.
Easy access to email masking and user awareness by incorporating the Relay feature into the Firefox browser should help a wide range of users maintain their privacy and feel safer online. Mozilla has announced that Relay will be made available to all Firefox users directly in the browser later this year, but in the meantime users have the option of using Relay as a browser extension.