Friday, March 04, 2016

Managed identity for the special needs Explorer: iCloud makes aliasing easy

From Smartphone for all …

When you first begin supporting your Explorer a single address for them to send and receive email is fine. You may find, however, that you want another, secret, address for your Explorer. You might not want to expose their private email address when signing up for Facebook for example. You may not want them to be able to reset their bank account password. With experience you’ll find many occasions where want to use an email address for an Explorer that sends email to a Guide.

There are three ways to create this kind of email address for an Explorer, depending on what the Guide is familiar with.

If the Guide is using iCloud things are very simple. iCloud email has elegant support for up to 3 “aliases”. A guide can create an “alias” for an Explorer; that email becomes the Explorer’s “managed identity”. Here’s an example of an alias created for a famous Explorer - Meriwether Lewis of Lewis and Clark fame:

Meriwether Lewis alias.png

If Meriwether were my Explorer and I configured this alias on my iCloud email then I would receive email sent to (careful, someone is sure to create this email address, I don’t use it!). I might do this so I can monitor Facebook activity and control password resets for example. (see Facebook Social and Facebook Messenger). See Apple’s support note for more information:

If a Guide is using regular Gmail they can’t create an alias. They can, however, open a new Gmail account for the Explorer and set it to forward email. This is awkward and requires yet another password to manage, but it only has to be done once.

Lastly, technically oriented Guides will know of other email redirect options that are beyond the scope of this book. (I don’t recommend using a free redirect service however, there are too many security risks.)

All of these approaches will work to create this extra, secondary, email address. This secondary address doesn’t get entered into your Explorer’s phone, it’s just for use by a Guide, typically though a web browser like Chrome. 

You don’t need to add this second, Guide-use only Explorer email at first, but keep it in mind as you gain more Guide experience.

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