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Passwords are a relatively unsafe method of securing information, and yet, they’re what we’re stuck with. Even if you manage to make them memorable and strong, there’s still the chance that if one password is exposed, it could compromise many of your accounts if you use the same one.

On top of all that, there’s an inherent insecurity in giving your email, credit card number, and phone number to any website where you want to buy something. If that website gets hacked — like Target did Target Confirms Up To 40 Million US Customers Credit Cards Potentially Hacked Target Confirms Up To 40 Million US Customers Credit Cards Potentially Hacked Target has just confirmed that a hack could have compromised the credit card information for up to 40 million customers that have shopped in its US stores between November 27th and December 15th of 2013. Read More , for instance — your information is now in the hands of some rather malicious folks.

Thankfully, there’s an app that can remedy this, and it’s called Blur.

We’re going to be taking a look specifically at the Android app today, but Blur is also available for iOS, Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera, and Internet Explorer. With that in mind, let’s take a look at everything this security-minded app has to offer.

Getting Started with Blur for Android

First, go ahead and download Blur from the Google Play Store for free. After you’ve downloaded and installed the app, open it, and you should be redirected to your Settings app where you’ll need to activate Blur under the Accessibility options. This gives it the permissions it needs to be able to save and input login information for you.

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Next, you’ll need to create an account for Blur. Thankfully, this will be the only login you’ll have to remember!

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From there, you’ll be prompted to sign up for Blur Premium, which normally costs $39.99 per year or $129.99 for a lifetime subscription, but if you go premium within the first 24 hours of creating your account, you can get it for $19.99 per year.

The Premium version allows you to “mask” your cards and phone numbers (which I’ll explain later), and it automatically backs up and syncs all your information across your devices.

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You’ll then be presented with a simple list of all the things you can do with the app, and by tapping the hamburger menu in the upper right, you can adjust the settings to your liking.

Blur’s Best Features

Blur isn’t just a password manager — it’s really a one-stop shop for all things related to security, passwords, and payments.

Masked Credit Cards, Emails, & Phone Numbers

Possibly the coolest feature of Blur is the ability to create “masked” emails, credit card numbers, and phone numbers. This allows you to have a centralized place for all your accounts where you can easily disable emails or payments — while keeping your data more secure than it was before.

Let’s look at masked emails first. Head over to any website where you’d like to make an account and click on the email field. A box should pop up from Blur that allows you to create a masked account right there. It automatically generates a random email address and password, and enters those into the appropriate fields.

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It’s as easy as that. The website doesn’t have access to your real email, so if they ever start to spam that masked email, you can simply disable it or turn off the forwarding to your real email.

The same thing applies to credit cards, though you’ll have to first enter your credit card info into Blur. After that, just click on any credit card information field, and Blur will populate it with a temporary credit card number. Blur will then charge your card for the exact amount of the transaction, and it will finish the purchase with a gift card of the exact value.

And, you guessed it, the same applies for phone numbers. Blur can create temporary phone numbers that forward to your phone number so that you can activate accounts using a text message or call without giving up your real phone number and potentially being spammed.

Easy Access To Accounts

Once you’ve set up all of these different accounts using various emails and passwords, you won’t have to worry about remembering them. Simply open up Blur for Android, enter your password (the app itself remains password-protected for obvious reasons, though you can disable this), and select which account you’d like to open. Blur will automatically open up your default browser What Is The Fastest Android Browser? What Is The Fastest Android Browser? Browsers on Android can have different rendering engines, so some browsers can be faster than others. Read More and log you in.

Or, if you navigate to any of these websites, all you have to do is click on the field to enter your username or email address, and Blur will display a box with the possible accounts you could use to sign in, making it really effortless and intuitive.

Auto-Fill & Password Generation

If you’d rather avoid the masked emails and credit cards, you can still use Blur simply as a way of automatically filling in all of your information — including your address for deliveries. It can save accounts you’re already using and auto-fill that information for you across devices and browsers.

Also, if you’re struggling to think of multiple different, complex passwords, Blur has a password generator built-in. And since it stores all your passwords for you, you don’t have to worry about remembering them.

Tracking

Within the app, Blur offers some step-by-step guides on how to be sure you’re not being tracked on your mobile device.

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It even has a little reminder feature so that you can check back periodically and make sure that new apps aren’t tracking you.

Desktop Version

One of these nicest things about this is that it’s accessible on all of your devices. Whether you’re on your computer or your phone, your accounts are all there and just a click away. Even if you don’t want to use a browser extension, or you’re on someone else’s computer, you can always visit dnt.abine.com to access your account.

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The desktop version is much like the Android app — barebones and minimal. You can access all the same features in a simple way.

Should You Try Blur for Android?

I really like Blur. There are times where I want to create an account but don’t want to use my real email, or I want to buy something from a website, but I’m not sure if it’s legit. Masked emails and masked credit cards solve that problem — and they’re so easy to use.

So, yes, I’d highly recommend checking out Blur.

Download: Blur for Android

Have you tried out Blur? What do you think of it? Are there any features you’d like to see implemented in the future? Let us know down in the comments!

  1. Kristopher Hesson
    February 24, 2016 at 7:50 pm

    I'm concerned that anything purchased with a "blurred" credit card number would lose the protections offered by the original card issuer.

    Can the author or a Blur representative please clarify this for us. That would be a pretty severe impediment to using the CC part of the service.

    • Alex Abine
      February 25, 2016 at 8:45 pm

      Hi Kristopher,
      I'm Alex and I'm the Head of Payments at Abine (the creators of Blur). Your concern is completely understandable, as you would be technically adding an additional step between your regular credit card and your purchases.

      That said, if (somehow) one of your Masked Cards is used for fraud (which is unlikely since they have set amounts of funds on them and we encourage users to create them for the exact amount they intend to spend), you can file a dispute through us, just like you could with your regular credit card. If you don't receive goods you purchase with a Masked Cards, or the items are defective, and the merchant isn't cooperating, you can also file a dispute like you normally would. That said, it's very, very rare that we have to file disputes for our users.

      Just make sure you file the disputes through us, not your regular card issuer, as they have no connection to the final purchase.

  2. Gilbert J.
    February 24, 2016 at 3:10 am

    I started using Blur when it was called MaskMe, and was a big fan. I used the masked email, and was seriously thinking of going premium for the other features. However, I ran into something which led me to stop using it. Despite having the password manager turned off in settings, it nevertheless sometimes saved passwords, and on two occasions it took it upon itself to fill in passwords and log me into sites. After the first instance, which was a year or so ago, I disabled Blur altogether, but at some point I re-enabled it for some reason and forgot to re-disable it, While I wasn't looking it saved some more passwords, and a few weeks ago it unexpectedly logged me into a site again. To me, this is a huge fail, and though I admire the idea behind their products, I no longer trust the execution. Unfortunately I still have a couple of opayq email addresses I can't change (for example, my MYO account is tied to one), which has deterred me from closing my Abine account and uninstalling Blur completely, so I have uninstalled it everywhere except for a browser I rarely use, where I have it disabled.

    • Alex Abine
      February 25, 2016 at 8:51 pm

      Hi Gilbert,
      I'm Alex and I work at Abine (the creators of Blur and MaskMe). We understand that not all of our users want to use password managers, and we especially understand that not all users want passwords/accounts saved without being asked first.

      When you create an account on a website, Blur should ask you if you want to save the password, etc. If you click "never for this site," it should never save it. You can also turn this feature off entirely through the extension, settings, but it looks like you already did that? We'd probably have to check your settings more thoroughly to figure out what could be causing that.

      That said, if you only want to use Blur for Masked Emails, you don't technically need the extension installed to access them (you'd just have to create new emails and copy & paste them from your dashboard at dnt.abine.com).

      If you have specific concerns or would like to try to figure out why Blur was behaving differently than your settings indicated, you can feel free to email us at support@getabine.com.

  3. Robert
    February 23, 2016 at 7:35 pm

    I just signed up, to make a masked payment on a local contractor's somewhat dodgy web site. I even paid for premium right up front. What Blur doesn't warn you about in advance is their completely opaque process for limiting your masked CC usage. The support guy apologized but apologies mean as much as they cost... zero.

    Bottom line: don't sign up for the CC masking unless you're never going to try to pay for anything that costs more than a few dollars.

    • Alex Abine
      February 25, 2016 at 8:57 pm

      Hi Robert,
      I'm Alex and I'm the Head of Payments at Abine (the creators of Blur). You are correct that new users often have low limits when they first sign up, due to our payment system trying to establish a certain "trust score" for new users. That said, new user limits are higher than a few dollars.

      We can occasionally place a new account in review to see if we can calculate a higher trust score, but sometimes a new user simply has to use Masked Cards for smaller purchases at first, in order for the system to gather information and raise limits (not personal information per se, just general behavioral/usage info that our payment system aggregates to calculate scores).

      I'm not sure who you spoke with in support initially, but if you'd like to discuss it further, feel free to email us at support@getabine.com.

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