Last year, the DuckDuckGo search engine email protection service went into beta. Now the company has finally announced that the service becomes available to all users.
The service acts as an intermediary between private email and the outside world. It assigns users a free @duck.com address and intercepts trackers before they reach a user’s personal inbox.
Before an email reaches the inbox, DuckDuckGo strips it of trackers that track the location of the user when they open the email and the device from which they open it. The service also shows how many trackers were removed and which companies they belonged to.
“The biggest threats to email privacy are email trackers and profiling that happens through your email address. DuckDuckGo Email Protection solves both of these problems and does it in a simple way—the same inbox, more privacy,” says DuckDuckGo’s Omid Majdi.
When filling out the email field in online forms, DuckDuckGo generates a random address like [email protected], which hides the user’s private address. This makes it harder for companies to track users and allows you to disable each such address if it starts receiving a lot of spam.
The service allows you to correspond from a “duck” address. However, this does not guarantee that the e-mail will not contain personal identifiers of the user, since it is actually sent from a personal e-mail client – for example, Gmail.
DuckDuckGo also removes trackers attached to images and email attachments. In addition, it converts “http://” links to secure “https://”.
Registering for the email protection service is quite simple: in the DuckDuckGo mobile application (iOS/Android), open Settings and select Email protection. On your computer, go to duckduckgo.com/email using the DuckDuckGo browser extension (Firefox/Chrome/Edge/Brave) or DuckDuckGo for Mac (beta version).