This startup wants you to stop giving your email address to strangers

by Andreas Rekdal
November 2, 2017

joinesty cybersecurity startup chicago

Everyone knows reusing passwords across the web is a no-no, though whether that advice is heeded is another question entirely.

But passwords only constitute one piece of the online security puzzle — and most of us share the other one daily without giving it a second thought.

“Everyone talks about passwords, but it’s taken for granted that you use the same email everywhere,” said Robert Yoskowitz, co-founder of Joinesty, a Chicago-based digital security startup that emerged from stealth with a new Chrome extension on Thursday.

Personally identifiable and most likely already exposed through several data breaches, your personal email address probably says more about you than you think. If you reuse your passwords, cybercriminals can use stolen login credentials to access your accounts across the web. Even without a password, your email address can be used to find out which services you’re signed up for or make targeted break-in attempts.

And if someone were to gain access to your email inbox, they would hold the keys to most of your digital life.

Joinesty lets users isolate themselves from that risk by creating new email addresses and passwords for each of the services or newsletters they sign up for. Those login credentials are automatically generated, stored and managed through the company’s browser extension and upcoming mobile app.

“The email addresses you get are real, and you can use them to receive emails, log into services and do anything else you might do with an email address,” said Yoskowitz. “But when the next big data breach happens, your personal email address will not be exposed.”

In addition to shielding email addresses from data breaches, Joinesty serves as a filtering layer for your inbox. For each new email address you create, you can decide whether you want emails to be forwarded to your personal address in real time or as part of a daily digest that bundles them together.

“That way, you can see what came into all the addresses that you created through Joinesty, and you have the option of accessing them if you want to,” said Steve Yoskowitz, Robert’s brother and co-founder.

One of the biggest challenges to getting the product right, said Robert Yoskowitz, was finding a way to make the password manager’s user interface intuitive enough for non-technical users.

The brothers also spent a lot of time iterating on the email subscription experience. To date, emails are only filtered by the address they’re sent to, but Joinesty’s product roadmap also includes more advanced filtering powered by artificial intelligence.

With $3 million in funding from the Berlin-based Axel Springer Plug and Play Accelerator, Joinesty launched its Chrome browser extension on Thursday. On top of its security features, the plugin also displays available deals and discounts on the sites the user visits.

The brothers expect the service to be available for other browsers as well as for mobile devices by year’s end.


Images via Joinesty.

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