Mozilla Firefox gets a handy new feature to prevent tracking and email spam

Spam messages
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Mozilla has announced a new feature for its popular web browser Firefox, that it hopes will put an end to being spammed and tracked online.

Firefox Relay was first launched in beta in August 2020 as an extension, and it can mask your email address when you sign up for new accounts on websites, preventing third parties from having direct direct access to your real email account. 

With the new integration, users will no longer have to access the management dashboard to generate these email aliases; instead, Firefox Relay will prompt the user to use an existing mask or create a new one when they are creating an account on a webpage.

Masking your email

The aliases that Firefox Relay creates forward messages to your actual email address, which means you remain anonymous while still being able to benefit from various sites and services online. 

By having different aliases for different sites, you can easily delete and create new ones if they start to receive spam messages, without having to change your actual email account address. 

And if your email is leaked in a data breach, then all the threat actors have is your alias and not your real email address, again protecting your privacy and anonymity. 

So far, Mozilla claims that Firefox Relay has prevented over two million spam and unwanted emails from appearing in users' actual email accounts. 

Unlike other similar features from other vendors, Firefox Relay also removes trackers from emails before forwarding them onto your real email account.

To make use of these feature within Firefox, users will first need to sign up to Firefox Relay, which includes free and paid tiers. The seamless integration of the feature with Firefox will be rolled out gradually to users and only apply to some website, but this will expand to include all users and more sites by the end of the year. 

Mozilla also recently announced Total Cookie Protection for Android users of Firefox, which stops sites from tracking your activity. This was already available on desktop versions of the browser, where each website you visits will have its cookies stored in their own separate "cookie jars", so that websites can't find out what information other websites have on you.

Lewis Maddison
Staff Writer

Lewis Maddison is a Staff Writer at TechRadar Pro. His area of expertise is online security and protection, which includes tools and software such as password managers. 

His coverage also focuses on the usage habits of technology in both personal and professional settings - particularly its relation to social and cultural issues - and revels in uncovering stories that might not otherwise see the light of day.

He has a BA in Philosophy from the University of London, with a year spent studying abroad in the sunny climes of Malta.