DuckDuckGo @duck.com privacy email addresses are available to everyone

After deployment of its Email Protection service in private beta last year, DuckDuckGo announced that it is finally available for all users. Email Protection is a forwarding service that assigns you a free “@duck.com” email address and intercepts email trackers before they reach your personal inbox.

If you need a refresher on what exactly DuckDuckGo’s email protection service does, it lets you use a personal or private “duck” address to protect your real business email address. Before the email reaches your inbox, DuckDuckGo removes it from trackers that spy on your location when an email was opened, when you opened it, and what device you used . It also shows the number of trackers removed, as well as the companies they were attached to.

Personal addresses assign a name of your choice to your duck address, such as emma@duck.com. Meanwhile, private addresses take it a step further – every time you start filling in an email field, DuckDuckGo generates a random address, which might look like avtzqdr@duck.com. Using a new private address every time you fill out an online form should make it even harder for companies to track you. You can also disable each private address individually in case you receive a lot of spam.

DuckDuckGo will tell you how many trackers it has blocked and what companies they are from.
Image: DuckDuckGo

Now that DuckDuckGo has opened the beta to everyone, it’s also adding a few new features. This includes Link Tracking Protection, which removes all trackers embedded in links added to emails (including those added to images). It also deploys a smarter encryption feature that converts all links using an unencrypted “http://” connection to a secure “https://” link. A URL using HTTPS prevents hackers – or your Internet Service Provider (ISP) – from seeing how you interact with a website.

Additionally, DuckDuckGo now allows you to reply from your duck address, whether you use a private or personal address. This can help conceal your email address when responding to a business or person whose home address or identity you may not want to know. But because the email is actually sent from your personal email client, like Gmail, DuckDuckGo says it “cannot guarantee that the email will not include your forwarding address or any other personal identifier”.

DuckDuckGo has also rolled out a new self-service dashboard that lets you change your forwarding address, as well as make any other changes to your duck accounts. You can try out the beta for yourself using the DuckDuckGo extension to firefox, Chromiumand Edgeor you can access it through the DuckDuckGo Privacy Browser to iOS, androidand Mac (which is still in beta).

“The biggest threats to email privacy are trackers in emails and profiling that occurs through your email address,” Omid Majdi, product manager at DuckDuckGo, said in a statement to The edge. “DuckDuckGo Email Protection solves both of these problems and does it in a simple way – same inbox, more privacy – and we’re excited to make the beta open to everyone.”

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