Privacy-focused online browser DuckDuckGo on Thursday announced that its email protection service in beta is now finally available to all users and they can generate a free “@duck.com” email address and intercepts email trackers before they reach their personal inboxes.
DuckDuckGo Email Protection is a free email forwarding service that removes multiple types of hidden email trackers and lets users create unlimited unique private email addresses on the fly – without switching email providers or apps.
“We’ve also added new features like Link Tracking Protection that helps prevent tracking in email links, Smarter Encryption that helps with unencrypted email links, and the ability to reply directly from your Duck Addresses,” said the company.
To sign up in the DuckDuckGo mobile app (iOS/Android), upgrade to the latest version and then open Settings and select Email Protection.
On desktop, you can navigate to duckduckgo.com/email while using a DuckDuckGo browser extension (Firefox/Chrome/Edge/Brave) or DuckDuckGo for Mac (beta).
Companies embed trackers in images and links within email messages, letting them collect information like when you’ve opened a message, where you were when you opened it, and what device you were using.
“In our closed Email Protection beta, we found that approximately 85 per cent of beta testers’ emails contained hidden email trackers. Companies can use this information to build a profile about you,” said DuckDuckGo.
Since your email addresses are connected to so much of what you do online – making purchases, using social media, and more – tracking companies can also effectively use your personal email address as a profiling identifier.
“Email Protection works seamlessly in the background to deliver your more-private emails right to your inbox,” the company added.
With Unique Private Duck Addresses, when you are browsing different websites, DuckDuckGo automatically detects email fields so you have the option to generate a unique Private Duck Address for additional protection against email address profiling.
“Just like your Personal Duck Address, Private Duck Addresses also forward privacy-enhanced emails to your personal inbox,” it explained.