What alternatives are there to Abine Blur and their MaskMe Service?May 17, 2022 / My Data Removal Staff
If you are concerned about your online privacy and security, you know that it can take a lot of work to stay current with all things cybersecurity, such as wisely managing the security of your accounts or staying up-to-date on the latest scams so you don’t become the next victim. There is a service from the company Abine, called Blur that is a one-stop shop for privacy services.
A service like Blur can be appealing because it offers many of the most important privacy services in one convenient location. For people who don’t mind spending money in exchange for convenience and time saved, Blur can be a great option. For the DIY-inclined who like to save money and have more flexibility, this article is for you. This is not a review of Blur’s services, only some suggestions on alternatives for those who want to do things themselves
What is Abine Blur?
Abine is a privacy company that offers two main privacy services. In addition to Blur, they have a data removal service called DeleteMe. While this service is similar to My Data Removal, here at My Data Removal we currently cover more site and scan for your data more frequently than DeleteMe.
Abine Blur offers the following services in the free version: encrypted passwords, masked emails, tracker blocking, and auto-fill. They also have a paid version which includes everything in the free version plus the following: masked credit cards, masked phone numbers, and services to backup and sync. This article will address each of the services Blur provides and explain alternatives for doing the same thing yourself for free.
They call their service encrypted passwords, but it is really just password management. There are plenty of companies that specialize in password management: Bitwarden, 1Password, Zoho Vault, Dashlane, Keeper, LastPass, RoboForm, StickyPassword, and NordPass. Password managers do everything you need when it comes to passwords. They can create long complex passwords, store them, the associated username, and website that they go to, and with the help of a browser extension, can even autofill them for you. They encrypt your passwords to protect them from intruders. Many password managers even have zero-knowledge encryption, which means they are not able to see what your passwords actually are.
For more information, take a look at our password management article.
Masked email addresses
Email masking is using a different email address that forwards all emails to your primary inbox. It often doesn’t let the person sending you emails know what your real address is or even that you are using a masked email address. There are plenty of services that provide masked email services like 33mail, anonaddy, and simplelogin.
For more information, take a look at our email masking article.
Ad and tracker blocking
Ad and tracker blocking is a must these days. Many websites allow third parties to track your activities. Online marketing companies and big tech are tracking and advertising to you. By using ad and tracker blocking extensions on your browser, you can browse knowing you aren’t being followed around the internet.
In addition, using privacy-friendly browsers can go a long way in keeping your information private. For more information, take a look at our article on web browsers.
This convenience feature allows you to fill out many forms, such as email, passwords, addresses, credit card information, with a simple click. Auto-fill is not unique to Abine Blur. It is something the browser extension for your password manager can do. A browser extension for Privacy.com or another masked credit card service can fill this role as well.
Masked credit cards
The masked credit card service from Abine Blur is, arguably, the most attractive part of their offering. The best alternative is privacy.com (you get $5 if you use this privacy.com affiliate link). Both of these services provide you with masked credit cards for purchases online. You can uses any name you want, which goes a long way in protecting your privacy. Abine Blur charges your credit card (and you pay an additional fee) while privacy.com connects to your bank account and withdraws the amount you spend (so it’s free).
For more information, take a look at our article covering Privacy.com.
Masked or virtual phone number
A masked phone number can be a great option for doing things like buying or selling on Craigslist, online dating, or simply not wanting to share your real phone number with everyone. The best option is MySudo (you need a paid plan, even if it's only $1 a month), but you can also get a Google Voice number for free. These number do not provide privacy, but by allowing you to not use your real number, they do provide you some anonymity. You should use zero-knowledge, encrypted communication methods for private communications, such as the Signal messaging app.
Backup and sync
You can use a number of offline and cloud-based services to back up your data. You can always do it manually on an external hard drive. You could even encrypt the hard drive and the data with Veracrypt. You could also back up your information on the cloud. Consider using a zero-knowledge provider like Sync, Icedrive, pCloud, Tresorit, or MEGA.
There are a lot of options to improve your online privacy and security. Abine Blur is a fine option that is a one-stop shop for privacy if you prioritize convenience. On the other hand, if you are okay working with multiple companies, you will have more control and more options if you use different vendors for different services. Either way, we here at My Data Removal commend you for caring about improving your cybersecurity and taking steps to protect yourself. As always, My Data Removal is here to provide services and education to help you along your way.