Customer story: How Fastmail helps protect your digital identity

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Fastmail’s upcoming Settings changes make it easier than ever to customize your workflow. Learn how Masked Emails, Aliases, and Custom Domains protect your privacy and increase productivity.

Everyone has a unique way they use email. However, for many people, privacy and productivity are non-negotiable. Learn more when you read how Peter Voorhees, a Fastmail customer, shares the Fastmail features that have helped him reclaim his email.

1. How do you use additional email addresses?

I use multiple email addresses to assign individual access points for high-value websites. Domain registrars, my Fastmail account, banking websites, the “big socials”, and “big shopping” websites all have their own, globally unique email addresses not used for any other purpose.

The reason for using a globally unique address is to make attacking those accounts more difficult. Email addresses are not a secret, but we can limit how public some addresses are. I shield my “real” email address by using the Masked Email feature. Bitwarden (an advanced password manager) integrates with Fastmail, enabling address generation on the fly when I create a new Bitwarden entry. Anytime I create an account somewhere, almost invariably the website wants an email address. The problem is, I do not know what they’re going to do with my email address afterward. Is their database secure? Are they going to sell my information or just display my email for the world to see?

People maintain email addresses for a long time. They become part of our digital identity. Providing our “real” email address to every website puts those addresses at risk of being contaminated by marketing emails, scams, and spam.

Individual addresses are also great for automatically filing emails based on their content. I’ve got sub-domain addressing enabled, but this could just as easily be done with “plus” addressing. I also combined this with the masked email. This means when I sign up for a mailing list, I might have an address like: When an email is delivered to this address, it is automatically filed in my Lists\OS_Dev folder (or label). This is a really handy automatic organizational tool for transactional emails, receipts, and email lists.

2. Do you use a custom domain with your email addresses?

I use a custom domain with my email addresses. This is 50% vanity and 50% functional. I like the flexibility of having a nearly unlimited number of email users available to me. The reason I bought a domain was primarily for vanity: a “domain hack” allows me to spell my name by only adding punctuation (e.g. if my name were “Joe Johnson”, my domain would be “johns.on” and the corresponding email would be “joe@johns.on”).

My second reason for using a custom domain is functional. I have a few small servers and side projects that require an occasional email. Custom domains let me completely separate that email activity from my correspondence email.

It’s so exciting that you can now buy a domain through Fastmail. If you decide to use Fastmail to buy your domain, they have all of your DNS records set up for you, so it works immediately to send emails. Learn more about this by going to Settings → Domains if you are an admin user or checking out our help page about domains.

3. Do you use Masked Email?

For me, the default is now Masked Emails — I use them everywhere I can.

All new site sign-ups → create a Masked Email.

Password change → change the corresponding email to a new Masked Email.

I receive a message from an email list that isn’t using a Masked Email → changes to a Masked Email.

I use additional email addresses (also known as aliases) when I want to send messages using a particular address. I use aliases for sending emails because they are the fastest addresses to access when composing a message. As mentioned above, there are services that have their own globally unique email addresses in use for them — those are aliases. The other time I use aliases is for email addresses that do not use my custom domains.

4. What are you excited about Fastmail’s upcoming Settings changes?

At this point, I’ve got about 100 email addresses in total right now. I expect that number to grow. Fastmail is user-friendly and makes it easy to manage all of those addresses. Check out Fastmail’s My email addresses help page for more information on their updated Settings and how you can try them out on Fastmail beta.

The upcoming settings update allows me to see which addresses I use most frequently. Managing masked email addresses is not challenging: they can be sorted in a variety of ways and bulk operations can be performed on subsets of addresses if necessary.

5. Is there anything else about your workflow or your Fastmail experience that you would like to tell people about?

For me, email consists of my identity, managing risk, correspondence, and tracking my online orders. Masked Emails make website data breaches much less compromising, spam easier to manage, and my “real” email address less cluttered. Integration with Bitwarden makes using masked email addresses extremely convenient. If your preferred password manager doesn’t yet work with Fastmail, new masked email addresses only take two clicks to generate from the quick settings menu. It’s clear to me that Fastmail has a DEEP understanding that identity is an important component of one’s email workflow. The recent updates make it easier than ever to see their expertise and incorporate their features into my workflow.

Fastmail allows you to create a workflow that works best for you. You can incorporate these privacy and productivity practices into your routine and make email yours!

Want to learn more? Check out these Setting updates on beta now!

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