DuckDuckGo has a reputation for protecting the privacy of its users far more than most other companies. Last year, the tiny search engine announced that they were experimenting with a free service designed to dodge email trackers as a means of further protecting the privacy of its users.
The company’s Email Protection service works by stripping email trackers from messages.
Initially, DuckDuckGo’s Email Protection service was available via a waitlist only. You had to sign up. If/when a spot opened for you, you could test it out. During this waitlist testing period, the company reports that it found trackers in some 85 percent of incoming messages.
Now, DuckDuckGo’s Email Protection service has moved to Open Beta, so literally anyone can get a @duck.com email address. Per the company, you can create as many private email addresses as you like and they will be accessible from your desktop, iOS or Android devices.
Not only does the service promise to strip out unwanted email trackers, but it will also give you a report detailing exactly what trackers it found in your messages. It includes a new Link Tracking feature that helps prevent tracking across email links.
If that wasn’t enough, the service also includes Smart Encryption, which upgrades unencrypted HTTP links in emails to their secure HTTPS counterparts whenever possible. You can reply to messages with a @duck.com email address in lieu of whatever address you normally use.
To make use of the service, you’ll need to install the DuckDuckGo Privacy Browser for iOS or Android. Once installed, simply go to the Email Protection section of the Settings menu to try it out.
If you’re planning to use it on your desktop PC, you’ll need the DuckDuckGo Privacy Essentials extensions depending on the browser you use. It is available for Chrome, Edge, Brave, Firefox or the DuckDuckGo Mac browser. Once you’ve got the extension installed, just pay a visit to the email section of the company’s website.