How many services do you sign up for on a weekly or monthly basis?
Whether you’re trying out a new Web service, signing up for a newsletter, or creating any other type of account, the majority of the time, you’ll need to enter your email address.
The problem with this is that your email often gets into the wrong hands such as: spammers, scammers, hackers, advertisers, and marketers. When this happens, you may begin to receive large amounts of unwanted email. Then you have to take the time to unsubscribe from all of them. This is not only frustrating and time-consuming, but also invades your email privacy.
So how do you fix this? Easy, you use a service like Starfish to protect your email identity. You can use Starfish to automatically generate a unique single-purpose email address for every new service that you want to sign up for. This keeps your email account secure because that unique address cannot be traced back to you.
Starfish will then automatically forward messages from that email address to your real email address. You can turn this forwarding on/off whenever you want, which makes it easy to make a clean split from any service or newsletter that you sign up for. Best of all, this call be done via a browser extension; Starfish only supports Google Chrome, but more browsers are coming soon.
For now, here’s how to create an auto generated email address for any service, in Google Chrome.
1. Install the Starfish Chrome extension; you’ll then see the icon on your browser.
2. Click on the browser icon and create an account – you can do this right from your browser toolbar.
3. When you’re ready to sign up for a new service, click on the Starfish icon and click on “New Identity.”
Note: You may also want to go to services that you’re already signed up for and replace your current email address with a Starfish auto generated email address.
4. Once you click on “New Identity”, you’ll see a new unique email address, this will be your email address for the current website or service; you’ll then need to give it a nickname.
5. Once you enter a nickname, click on “save now” to save it immediately. If you want to customize it further, click the “customize” button.
When you click on “customize” you’ll be able to change the forwarding address and add a username and password – great if you want to add an extra layer of security.
6. Click on “save now” and your new identity will be created; the email address will be automatically added to your clipboard for you to paste into the website.
7. Your new identity will also show in your “existing identities.” You can click on it to view details, edit, mute (turn off forwarding), and copy to clipboard if you ever need to use it again.
8. You can always un-mute an identity if you want to start receiving emails from that source again. Unfortunately, there currently doesn’t seem to be a way to totally delete an identity at the moment.
Starfish is in beta, so the service is sure to evolve a bit. For now, it’s extremely useful for protecting your identity and keeping your email address safe and private.