With iOS 15, Apple added an iCloud feature that allows users to create “burner” emails when signing up for services. Now, 1Password is partnering with Fastmail, a privacy-minded email service, to introduce a similar feature.
The new feature, dubbed Masked Email, allows users to generate random emails when signing up for apps and services they don’t want to be linked with their main email account. The feature is handy if your inbox is a quagmire of spammy newsletters you barely remember signing up for. It’s also convenient for temporary sign-ups that might require emails—like logging into public wifi networks.
The way it works is pretty easy. Whenever you’re asked to enter an email, 1Password will show a menu option to create an alias. Those emails are then forwarded to your Fastmail inbox. From there, you can also block annoying emails from 1Password. (You can see it in action in the video below.)
From a security standpoint, automated burner emails are a good way to protect against phishing scams. It sucks, but we all know that most services you sign up for will share or sell your data for advertising. Data breaches and leaks are no longer rare, and bad actors use leaked emails and passwords to do their nasty business. What’s worse is once an email is leaked, it’s more likely to show up in another breach. Even if the burner email is part of a leak, you’re less at risk as your emails and passwords will all be unique from each other.
The “catch” here is that you need to have both a 1Password and Fastmail account to get the Masked Email feature. If you already have both, you can just link the accounts. If not, you’ll have to sign up for the one you don’t have. A Fastmail account starts at $30 per year, while 1Password subscriptions start at $2.99 per month (billed annually). Meanwhile, Apple’s version of email masking requires you to pay for iCloud storage. These are all relatively affordable, but it doesn’t negate the fact you have to sign up for yet another subscription. It’d be nice if these sorts of features were open to everyone and not kept behind a paywall, but that’s capitalism for you.