Processing all of your email to get to the coveted “inbox zero” is a feat that many attempt but few achieve. We all receive more email than we can possibly deal with, which make it all the more important to keep our email addresses as private as possible.
Thanks to an identity security startup that we had covered here on Techli before called Gliph, it is now possible to send and receive emails without disclosing your actual email address. The product, called Cloaked Email, allows a user to give people a cloak instead of their actual email address when someone that they don’t know requests it. According to the Gliph team, email sent to the cloak is forwarded to the user’s real email address. When the user replies, their real email address is automatically replaced with that of the cloak.
“We’re excited about how Cloaked Email provides Craigslist users with a new tool to protect their anonymity,” said Rob Banagale, co-founder and CEO of Gliph. “We all have situations where we’d prefer to keep our actual email address private. Cloaked Email makes this convenient for everyone.” A cloak from the company looks like this: firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Data breaches are unfortunately becoming a problem for everyone,” said Nick Asch, co-founder and CTO of Gliph. “From major gaming companies to global intelligence service providers, it just doesn’t pay to use your real email address if you can avoid it.”
The cloak is an extension of the company’s first product, a mobile app that allows you to communicate via a set of symbols, called gliphs. Users can reveal as much or as little as they want to when communicating via the app, with the choice to slowly reveal personal data such as a real name when a sender becomes more comfortable with a recipient. Gliph is perfect for Craigslist transactions, or meeting a new personal contact for the first time.
Theere are two major differences between the shielded email address offered by Craigslist and Gliph’s Cloaked Email. First, users must first sign up to be a Gliph user via the company’s mobile or web app. Second, Cloaked Email allows users to continue to use their cloak, even after the first interaction. With Craigslist, the shielded email only works upon the first interaction. Subsequent interactions with Craigslist’s shielded email are done directly from each party’s native email, and the email address of each person is revealed. If you’ve ever purchased an item or tried to win over a landlord that you met on Craigslist, you know that there are always a few emails exchanged before each party is ready to strike a deal.
According to the Gliph team, “Each Gliph user is given one free cloak when they sign up for Gliph. Additional cloaks can be earned by inviting new people to the service. After five successful invites, email attachments are automatically enabled on all past and future cloaks.”
Here’s how Cloaked Email works:
Cloaked Email makes Gliph even more useful, because even non-geeks will intuitively know how to use the product in their daily lives. This is just another step towards making the company’s award-winning digital identity platform a more ubiquitous and safe way to interact with strangers online.