One of the hottest new apps to hit the iPhone last week was Burner, a programme that allows you to create temporary, disposable phone numbers to protect your identity.
Now, in what could be considered a text-based companion to serve your anonymising needs, another company has released a tool called Gliph, which gives you disposable and anonymous email addresses.
The cloaked email component of the service offers a way to seamlessly communicate via email without ever revealing your personal email address to the recipient. One of the primary examples the developers of Gliph use to illustrate the usefulness of the service involves Craigslist transactions, which hide your identity in postings, but reveal your real email address when you reply to anyone. Craigslist suggests creating a Yahoo or Gmail email address to avoid revealing too much about yourself; Gliph can help you get around having to juggle multiple email accounts.
As Internet transactions and associated legal issues have become more mainstream over the years, web-based email, once a lightweight tool for protecting your real identity online, has increasingly become a free service only usable if you are willing to verify some form of your true identity.
Gliph, however, has boasted about military-grade encryption that lets you reply with an email address that can be discarded with one click.
Another aspect of Gliph allows a user to claim an identity made up of graphic symbols (hence the name of the company), which then allows the user to communicate with other Gliph users securely through text messages.
Of course, like Burner, the potential for abuse from users with less-than-savoury intentions is present with a tool like Gliph. But since the service only issues additional cloaked email addresses to those who have invited verified new users, the potential to game the service may be limited. To give users a quick visual walkthrough of how the Cloaked Email service works, the company has posted a short video tutorial (top) detailing how to get started.
The app is currently available for use on desktop computers or on mobile phones via free downloads in Google Play and the App Store.