Firefox users can now preserve their online anonymity directly from the web browser to get a new boost in security.
Firefox Relay allows users to create an email mask that hides their real email address from the services they subscribe to, but can still forward email from the service in question to your real address without revealing it. You can block emails from masks if you end up getting spam yourself.
Mozilla will roll out the new integration to Firefox Account users over the next two weeks, following a testing period earlier this year. In May 2023, the company also added Firefox Relay to the Firefox toolbar for testers, allowing them to generate random masks and reuse existing ones without switching apps.
Mozilla believes there are several benefits to using Firefox Relay. Email masks can be easily deactivated, unlike your real email account which you will probably be reluctant to delete altogether if you no longer need it.
It can also help you preserve your anonymity if you want to share your contact information publicly on social media, for example; by using an email mask, your real email will not be known to outsiders.
By creating numerous masks, you can also check and monitor which emails come from which source. Masks can be renamed however you like, and Firefox keeps track of which mask you used where.
Mozilla also believes it can help protect you from data leaks, as your real email address won’t be known to bad actors if they break into a service you signed up for. If they had your real email address tied to your other valuable services, like your bank, they could be able to perpetrate fraud and identity theft.
However, some services do not allow users to register using email templates, including those generated by Firefox Relay. Last year, GitHub shocked many users when Firefox Relay Domains were added to a mastered email provider blacklist, used by many companies to block the use of such addresses when signing up for their services , forcing users to use their real email address instead.