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Firefox Relay gives you a burner phone number to give out online

Relay's phone number masking can help protect your privacy

Mozilla, the company behind the Firefox browser, rolled out a new update to another privacy-focused service called ‘Firefox Relay’ that enables users to hide their real phone number with a burner number provided by Relay.

Firefox Relay, if you haven’t heard of it, is a web app (and browser extension) that lets you generate email “masks” — virtual email addresses that you can hand out to websites instead of your real email. The email masks then forward emails to your real email address, allowing you to maintain a degree of separation between your real email and the services you give an email to (of course, you can also block emails coming from a mask, giving you a great option for anything you suspect will bombard you with spam).

Now, Mozilla has expanded that idea to phone numbers. Through Firefox Relay, people can create a phone number mask to give out online so they can keep their real phone numbers private.

Given that many people use their phone numbers for two-factor authentication (2FA), keeping a private phone number is a good idea. SIM swap fraud, which involves fraudsters stealing your phone number to gain access to 2FA codes, is all too common — minimizing exposure is a great way to help combat it. Of course, the phone number mask is also helpful if you need to give your number to a company you suspect will use it to send you spam (or sell it to someone who will).

How Firefox Relay phone numbers work

Currently, Firefox Relay phone numbers are only available in the U.S. and Canada. To get one, head to ‘relay.firefox.com‘ and then sign up for a free account, or sign in if you already have one. It’s worth noting that you can use Relay for free, but with a limit of five email masks, among other restrictions.

Click the purple ‘Upgrade’ button to view the three Relay tiers. To get a phone number, you’ll need to get the ‘Email & phone protection’ tier, which costs $4.99/mo (or $3.99/mo if you go with annual billing). That gives you access to one phone number mask and generates a number for you to use.

Image credit: Mozilla

Each month, Relay subscribers get up to 50 minutes of incoming calls and 75 text messages for the phone number mask. Mozilla said in a blog post that it’s exploring ways to expand the feature with outbound calls and texts in the future and bring it to other regions.

Moreover, you will need to verify your actual phone number with Firefox Relay so that it can forward the calls and texts to you. Once set up, you’ll receive calls and texts from the phone number mask on your phone, with no additional apps required. Plus, you can use Relay to manage who can call and text your number to cut down on unwanted spam.

You can learn more about Firefox Relay phone numbers from this blog post, or check out Relay for yourself here.

Source: Mozilla

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