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Masked Email

There’s been some interesting discussion online lately regarding utilizing masked email/alias for email accounts. This is something I began using with Fastmail about a year ago and I’ve also dabbled with Apple’s Hide My Email feature. Both processes work well, with Apple’s being easier to implement, but much harder to manage. In fact, I allowed Apple to manage some of my passwords as well as used the Hide my Email, but ultimately this combination didn’t work for me. I still use a PC at home and not having easy access to my information was not useful. So, I converted everything back over to KeePass and managing my own aliases on Fastmail.

With that being said, my system is not perfect. In fact, it brings me a bit of anxiety. There are just so many different email addresses that are all random words and characters.

I liked Kev’s process of utilizing his domain name for his various email addresses. It seems like that could simplify things a bit. Recently, I upgraded my Fastmail plan to accommodate my domain name, in fact, this website is hosted by Fastmail. So, this is something within my doing, but man would that take some time. I also don’t know if I’d want as my email address.

I’ve been trying to keep in mind a great Buddhist story that I’ve heard Ajahn Brahm tell quite a few times. You can find the complete story here, but I’ll rob it off its effectiveness and summarize it for this post. I highly recommend you read the full version.

A mouse keeps chewing a hole in a nun’s robes, so she decides to get a cat to deal with the mouse. But now she needs to care for the cat, so gets a cow to provide milk for the cat. But a cow is a lot of work, so a young boy is loaned to her to care for the cow. So now, she must provide for the boy as well. The nun went from having just one problem: a mouse that would chew a hole in her robe, to having dozens of responsibilities and issues to deal with daily because she kept complicating her life try to fix problems.

I try to keep this in mind, especially as of late, because I’m guilty of doing this. KeePass has worked out fantastic for me for a very long time. The moment I started trying to utilize different apps, it created more stress for me. Sure, it’s nice to have Apple host everything and autofill, but it’s not so nice to have to dig out my phone every time I need some random password while using my computer.

I think we all realize that our current password system is broken but there is no clear fix. I think wrapping our head’s around having an individual email address and password for everything is the only way to compartmentalize and protect ourselves. Sadly, there just isn’t any easy way to accomplish this right now, which means most people will not devote any time to implementing it. And with no real consequences for any data breaches, the same problems we are experiencing now will continue in the future.

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