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The Bitwarden Blog

Add Privacy and Security Using Email Aliases With Bitwarden

authored by:

Ryan Luibrand

posted on:

June 1, 2022

In the May update Bitwarden brings integration with three popular email forwarding services: SimpleLogin, AnonAddy, and Firefox Relay. These services focus on bringing privacy, and with it, security, to users’ online accounts. The combination of using email aliases they service alongside a password manager adds multiple layers of protection online. With these new Bitwarden integrations, users now have a convenient way to generate both anonymous email addresses and secure passwords for ultimate security.

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What is an email alias?

An email alias, also known as a masked email, is an address with the sole purpose to forward any message it receives to your personal email. These aliases typically don’t have anything in the address that would reveal information about you, so your identity is protected when you sign up for online services and subscriptions.

Diagram showing Email Aliasing

Email aliases forward emails sent to them to your personal email address

If an online retailer requires you to create an account for checkout, you can use an alias instead of your primary email. You will still receive the receipt, forwarded automatically to you, but the retailer won’t have your real email address.

Why use an alias?

Data breaches are a sadly too-common occurrence, with usernames, email addresses, passwords, and other sensitive information getting leaked from a company’s servers and into the hands of nefarious actors. Fortunately, most (but not all) internet companies do provide some protection to stored passwords, saving only the hashed values so that the actual “plain text” passwords aren’t exposed. But that protection is not often extended to email addresses, which makes them easy to compile into large databases and share on the dark web.

“Hackers and trackers abuse email addresses and passwords to break into accounts and link personal information.” - Luke Crouch, Firefox Relay Security Engineer

Cybercriminals will scan thousands of lists to find an email address that shows up more than once, allowing them to build a profile of that user for a possible targeted attack. Or they can begin a “credential stuffing” attack, trying combinations of possible passwords with the leaked email address or username. Finally, a leaked email is an easy target for spam and phishing schemes.

“Most people have one primary email address that becomes their internet identity. [Creating] email aliases on the fly adds a line of privacy defense to online accounts.” - Son Nguyen Kim, SimpleLogin Founder and CEO

Using email aliases protects your privacy and your security. Hackers cannot learn your real email address from data breaches or any other details about you. Additionally, if you realize that your alias address was sold to third parties for marketing or spam, you can simply disable that alias and create another.

Get started with email aliases

The Bitwarden Generator

The alias option in the Bitwarden Generator in the desktop application

The Bitwarden Generator, available in free and paid Bitwarden plans alike, enables quick and easy creation of unique email aliases for SimpleLogin, AnonAddy, and Firefox Relay. Utilizing the API key from the account, an alias is instantly registered with the chosen service. Learn how to get started on the Bitwarden Help page.

“Both [AnonAddy and Bitwarden] share a commitment to the increased transparency that comes with open source technologies and we’re excited to bring users yet another way to protect themselves online.” - Will Browning, AnonAddy Founder and CEO

Using a unique email alias, username, and password for every account provides the ultimate defense against data breaches and strong privacy protection. With this new integration into Bitwarden, it’s easier than ever to keep your accounts and online identity secure.

Experience the new email alias integration in all Bitwarden plans. Visit bitwarden.com and start today!

Downdload this 2022 password managerment report by 451 Research

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