Privacy-focused search engine DuckDuckGo is launching Email Protection into beta, a new feature in its apps that will protect users’ email privacy without switching email services. DuckDuckGo claims that 70% of emails have trackers that can detect when a mail has been opened and even detect the location as well as what device was used to check. Further, the tracking data can be used to target users with ads and ultimately influence the content which one sees online.
“We’re excited to announce the beta release of DuckDuckGo’s Email Protection. Our free email forwarding service removes email trackers and protects the privacy of your personal email address without asking you to change email services or apps,” noted the company in a blog. “We believe protecting your personal information from leaking to third parties should be simple and seamless, like the rest of DuckDuckGo’s privacy protection bundle,” the company further said.
How does DuckDuckGo email protection work?
All you need to do is choose a Duck email address (email@example.com) and start giving it out. What DuckDuckGo does is it removes hidden trackers from incoming emails sent to this address, then forwards them to your regular inbox for safer reading. This means if you use an email service like Gmail or Yahoo, it’s no problem. “Emails sent to your Personal Duck Address will arrive there as usual so you can read your email like normal, in any app or on the web, worry-free,” explained the company.
The DuckDuckGo app and extension provide easy access to your Personal Duck Address when browsing the web and also gives an option to generate new Private Duck Addresses on demand.
On sites you think could spam you or share your email address, a Private Duck Address will protect you, says DuckDuckGo. The private Duck addresses are easy to deactivate, in case users are worried about getting too much spam. Since it’s common for sites to upload your email address to Google and Facebook for ad targeting, or for your email to be leaked in a data breach, this extra level of identity protection is now unfortunately necessary, says DuckDuckGo.
How do get started on this new feature?
The feature is still in beta and to get access to the beta, one has to join the private waitlist. “We’re letting new people in every day, but the sooner you join, the sooner you’ll be protecting your email privacy,” says DuckDuckGo.
Follow these steps to join the private waitlist on DuckDuckGo.
- Download DuckDuckGo for iOS or Android
- Open Settings > Beta Features > Email Protection
- Click “Join the Private Waitlist.”