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ManyMe provides stronger privacy, security, control and awareness in our online lives by making it simple to use unique, substitute identities whenever someone or some site asks for your email address. Below is our recent interview with David Hughes, Co-Founder and CEO of ManyMe:
Q: How would you describe ManyMe.com in your own words?
A: Whether you’re creating a new online account, signing up for a newsletter, registering for a discount, entering a contest, getting a receipt, or doing anything else that requires an email address, don’t disclose your personal address, give them a ManyMe address instead.
Users of Google’s Chrome browser can create addresses automatically using the ManyMe Helper plug-in, but no matter what browser you’re using, you can disclose a substitute identity manually, even in conversation or when filling out a paper form. Addresses are automatically remembered and managed, and incoming email is routed to the user’s primary inbox, so the user never has to remember a thing and only has one inbox to manage. Replies to email received on a ManyMe address are routed back through ManyMe and then forwarded to the original sender, thereby protecting your personal email address in the outbound direction, too.
Q: Why are multiple addresses important?
A: The automated use of multiple addresses opens the door to many powerful advantages for people in their online lives. For example, ManyMe:
• Keeps the user’s primary email address private, so that it doesn’t attract spam or other harmful content.
• Ensures that the user’s registration credentials will always be different by email address, even for users who insist on using the same password. This means that hackers can’t use the credentials for one account to gain access to the user’s other accounts, too, in what’s called a credential reuse attack.
• Makes it possible to track what happens to an address after it is disclosed, enabling the user to identify leaky sites and perhaps even identify a breach before the breached party is aware of it. With ManyMe, users can easily nullify the consequences of a hijacked address, and, if necessary, terminate the address with an “instant unsubscribe” capability.
• Provides exceptional controls over the email that gets into the user’s inbox. Now users can block senders based on the address that they are using, which isn’t practical if you only have a single address.
The bottom line is that ManyMe provides the only other email address you’ll ever need.
Q: Why would readers use ManyMe?
A: Privacy, security and trust are hot button issues for individuals. People who answer “yes” to any of the following questions will find that ManyMe gives them more power and peace of mind in their online life:
• Have you ever been nervous about disclosing your primary email address online, on paper or in conversation? Worry no more, use a ManyMe address instead and keep your true identity private.
• Ever feared what might happen to your address after you disclose it? ManyMe will tell you! It creates a telling record of how an address is shared with new senders at new domains and provides a simple way to prevent further spread with a single click.
• Ever doubted the trustworthiness of “unsubscribe” promises? ManyMe’s “instant unsubscribe” feature stops unwanted email immediately.
• Do you ever use the same password, even though you know you shouldn’t? With ManyMe, at least your email address will always be different, reducing your exposure to the most common hacker exploit.
• Do you have multiple email accounts to avoid giving out your primary address, or because your primary account has been overrun with unwanted email? With ManyMe you only have a single inbox to manage, and you have powerful control options to help keep your inbox pristine.
Once someone grasps the concept and understands the ease of use, there isn’t any reason to give one’s personal address to an outsider ever again. Users can get started easily with a free basic service, and then upgrade to an inexpensive subscription service for even more capability.
Q: How did ManyMe.com start? What’s your start-up story?
A: The founding team has years of experience providing cloud-based email security services to small and mid-size businesses, building a former company with hundreds of thousands of users and an amazing network of partners delivering services to “Main Street” customers around the world. That experience culminated in the company’s acquisition by a global leader in information security, and we learned a great deal in the process.
Given our experience we recognized that attacks target people, and that activities in one’s personal life can create risks in one’s work life, for one’s employer. And yet, despite its importance, consumer security receives comparatively little focus and investment, leading to a dearth of innovative solutions for individuals.
Our team is committed to closing this gap by delivering affordable, easy-to-use, corporate-grade tools and best practices to individuals everywhere. We’re passionate about helping people take more control over their online lives, and in so doing, improving information security in the corporate world, too.
Q: Could you explain what a FlyBy Address is?
A: The key to using ManyMe most effectively is to use a different ManyMe address for every new registration, whether the address is disclosed online, in conversation, or when filling out a form. Uniqueness is achieved by adding a suffix, which we call a “Flag,” to one’s username, in the following format:
To be valid, a ManyMe address must include a Flag. We refer to the full address as a FlyBy Address™ because the flag can be created by the user spontaneously, “on-the-fly.”
Addresses that are disclosed using the ManyMe Helper plug-in for Google’s Chrome browser use additional characters for greater security, as shown in this example:
The principle is the same as for passwords – the longer and more complex the Flag, the harder it is for a hacker to guess.
Users can edit the addresses that are created by the Helper in any way they wish, including deleting the security characters, but remember, every valid ManyMe address must include a Flag. Importantly, ManyMe automatically remembers and manages every address, so users don’t need to remember a thing.
Q: What are your plans?
A: ManyMe is committed to delivering the foremost platform for consumer security and privacy.
There are two important thrusts in our roadmap. First, there are many new features that we will add to ManyMe as we pursue our vision of bringing corporate-grade tools and best practices to consumers. In fact, ManyMe already includes a wide range of additional security features, such as thorough sender verification, blocking active code and archive files that are often used to deliver malicious content, and hosting attachments, so that content isn’t delivered to the user’s device without his or her permission.
Second, we will integrate ManyMe with other leading products in the security and privacy ecosystem. Password managers are a natural integration point, but there are many other promising possibilities. Our unique in-message control strip provides a very simple means of communicating with our users and a natural integration point for new control options. Each user’s personal dashboard also provides a unifying means of integrating the functionality of niche offerings that become more usable and powerful with unified management.
Crucially important in both cases is that we never lose our focus on simplicity and effectiveness. We must always reject the view that stronger security and ease-of-use are incompatible.Activate Social Media: