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How to use the Private Relay feature in Firefox?

By Preciate Gwizi | May 21, 2020 |

greater than 7 minutes

How often do you quiz yourself about the cookies you easily accept whenever visiting a website? Have you ever considered just how much personal information is connected to your email address? If you have never thought it was that deep, this article will leave you flabbergasted. Just one or two email accounts on your system can contain every single detail needed to break through your security.

In most cases, we’re quick to accuse identity thieves and scammers when our private and personal information is leaked out. But, in the same instance, we tend to forget that we also give permissions to websites and third parties to access personal details. Think about it. When creating an email address, every possible personal information is requested. And we don’t think about it; most times, the details are submitted and even saved for ‘faster login’ or to be ‘remembered the next time.’ Over time, with repeated use, this email address becomes the default login to most websites.

The more websites visited or linked to the email ID, the higher the security risks. Thankfully, there are web browsers that can be used to stop unscrupulous websites from obtaining your email ID and, subsequently, personal details. One such browser that we’ll focus on in detail is Firefox. Popularly known as Mozilla Firefox, this web browser was initially released in 2002 and uses the Gecko engine. Over time, the developers behind Firefox have consistently redesigned, invented and introduced features like their Firefox Send to stay in the game and get a lot of internet surfers to make it their default browser.

Issues Surrounding Alias Message IDs

One of the major issues about the concept of using an alias email ID is about how the user responds to a relayed email. Given that the email provided is from an alias email, does the email arrive as if it’s been sent from the actual email address or not? The reply address is important as it decides where exactly the email goes. The idea of a disposable email address works, but to a certain extent. It can get confusing.

Additionally, some websites have learned to differentiate between real email IDs and aliases. Thus, they do tend to refuse alias email addresses. Not all websites are aware of the difference between an alias and an actual address. Thus, if you were to put your mind to it and give it a try, you can get away with signing up using an alias.

Understanding Mozilla Firefox’s Private Relay Feature

The browser is available even for use on mobile phones. Android users can go to the Google Play Store to download it. Once it has been installed, access the internet via Firefox for private and incredibly fast connections. When browsing via Firefox, you can easily get rid of the trackers looking to collect your private information on the websites you visit.

Mozilla Private Relay – the Date of Release & Other

You can install the Firefox Private Relay add-on as soon as it is released and ready for public use. At the moment, this add-on is still experimental. It’s an alpha release, and users are still waiting for Firefox to soon add a waitlist at relay.firefox.com. All details are constantly updated and made available for the public, should you wish to view the progress.

This small add-on will be launched as version 1.3.1, and it comes in only a small size of 139.22 KB. Holding a Mozilla Public license, this add-on can be trusted.

The question should be less about what Firefox Private Relay does but more along the lines of why one should use Private Relay. Everyone uses the internet, and they tie one or two email IDs to their online accounts. Hacking either of the accounts gives access to all the associated data.

How to Start Using the Firefox Private Relay Feature

This is an easy-to-use feature. As already explained, you need to wait for the beta release and just install the add-on to your Firefox browser. Each time you use the internet, you know that you and your private data are protected. So, how exactly does Private Relay achieve the task of protecting your browsing? Simple. This tool adds UI to come up with unique, random and anonymous email addresses and forward emails from those aliases to your real address. These email addresses are referred to as the relay email addresses.

You can use any of your relay addresses to sign up for new offers, register on new sites, create accounts for apps, and subscribe to newsletters. If the emails on your alias (relay address) start weighing down heavily on you and you want to opt out, just disable or delete the address. This way, you get a clean breakaway and can rest easy knowing that there won’t be any data linking back to you.

So, what is new in Firefox Private Relay? To be honest, alias email addresses are nothing new. They have been around for ages. However, managing these email aliases has always been tricky. In most cases, this feature was disabled for the ordinary user. With Private Relay, Mozilla is changing the game. This add-on will change the way things have always been done. It comes as an easy solution that can be unleashed to create or destroy alias emails with just several clicks of your mouse.

Coming after the announcement of Apple’s similar email alias feature, Private Relay is for everyone looking for a solution outside of the Apple ecosystem. It’s perfect for anyone using an Android smartphone or a Windows PC. Mozilla is now the second-biggest tech company working on developing email aliases as a private way of filling in online forms.

Use Private Relay as an Anti-Spam Feature

Getting the best anti-spam tool has always been a challenge. Either it would be too expensive, or you get it, enjoy its perfect functions, and then, all of a sudden, you are left high and dry. The Firefox Private Relay add-on comes with a lot of benefits. When using an alias email address, you still get the same or similar components that your primary email address offers. These include having access to your account settings, creating and managing the contacts, and having dedicated folders, such as Inbox and Sent or Outbox.

But why choose to use an alias email, to begin with? Simple. If you start receiving too many spam emails or no longer have the use for a service that you signed up for, you can just delete the entire email address. No need to go through the annoying process of unsubscribing and having to fill out the survey form of why you have decided to opt out.

Getting Started

Mozilla’s Private Relay is straightforward. Follow the steps below to get started and protect yourself like the champ you are:

  1. Open the Firefox homepage to simply add Private Relay to your browser.
  2. Sign in so you can send an invite.
  3. Create a replacement email that will be your alias address.
  4. You’ll be prompted to provide an email ID; click on the Relay button.
  5. Use the account for any use you require of it and get rid of it once done.

Below is a complete rundown of how to get started with the Firefox Private Relay add-on:

  • Send out an invitation

To get started and have full access to the service, start by sending an invitation. When Mozilla Firefox Private Relay receives the invite approval, easy accessibility will be granted. Locate the icon right next to the address bar and click on it, then start creating an alias that will act as your email address in the meantime.

  • Use the account

When done, enter the email alias by a simple click. When prompted by a form to provide the email address, move the cursor above the relay button, click on it and the alias ID will be provided instead of your actual email address.

  • Firefox does the rest

When these processes have been completed, Firefox will then forward emails from the alias email address to the actual inbox. Enjoy using the disposable email account popularly known as or referred to as the alias email. More and more internet surfers prefer to hide their identity as there are stories of previously trusted websites harvesting and selling personal information from actual email addresses.

Final Thoughts

There’s no reason why you should stop yourself from doing what you enjoy online. If you have tried browsing anonymously, especially using Incognito windows, but this has never worked, then there’s no reason why you should give up on doing the things you love. Take the initiative of using a new way of protecting yourself online. Without a shadow of a doubt, the Firefox Private Relay add-on will keep you and your identity safe as you sign up for new accounts, subscribe to newsletters, and more. At the moment, there are questions around the availability of this add-on as an “invite-only alpha release”. Given time, Firefox is bound to improve on this development and make it worth the hype. The concept of using an alias email is, of course, nothing new. However, this time Mozilla is behind it all. Anyway, people who are active internet browsers are always more than happy to discover new ways of protecting their surfing activities. You should always set a task to find the potential cybersecurity weaknesses and protect yourself as well. With the bank accounts and card information almost always linked to your main email address, you have to stay wary of any security threat. Don’t be too trusting: you shouldn’t readily provide your email address to every website or newsletter you subscribe for.

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