March 27, 2023

Privacy-focused search engine DuckDuckGo last year introduced an Email Protection feature that aimed to thwart email trackers. It was initially available in a limited beta, requiring you to join a waitlist for access. The company has now launched Email Protection in open beta. Anyone can try it right away, with no waiting.

DuckDuckGo’s Email Protection protects you from email trackers without needing to switch providers. You can continue using your Gmail address, or email addresses from any other provider, for that matter. The feature works as a forwarding service. You can sign up for a free email address and use it as a shield to protect your email privacy.

Any email sent to your Duck address will be forwarded to your regular email inbox but with the trackers removed. DuckDuckGo says it does not store your emails. Perhaps not even the sender or recipient’s email address. The company will also tell what trackers it removed from an email if any.

During the limited testing over the past year, DuckDuckGo found that 85 percent of emails contain third-party trackers. 85 percent of popular sites globally use trackers while the figure goes up to 96 percent for Android apps. These trackers can obtain a lot of information about you without you knowing about that. As the company says, they can “pick up your location history, search history, browsing history, and more, inferring your age, ethnicity, gender, interests, and habits.”

With DuckDuckGo’s Email Protection, you’ll be protected from the likes of Facebook and Google making your personal data their product. It works across all platforms, including Android, iOS, and the desktop. The company lets you create unlimited email addresses, so you can have one for each of your existing emails from other providers. You can also create throwaway Duck addresses.

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Email Protection is available through the DuckDuckGo Privacy Browser

if you’re interested in trying out DuckDuckGo’s Email Protection, you can access it through the company’s browser app. The DuckDuckGo Privacy Browser is available for both Android and iOS devices. You can go to the Email Protection section in settings to sign up for the beta version.

On desktop,  you’ll need the DuckDuckGo Privacy Essentials browser extension. It is available for all major browsers, including Chrome, Firefox, Edge, and Brave. Mack users can access it through DuckDuckGo’s Mac browser. Simply visit the company’s official website here to download and install the extension on your favorite browser (via). Android users can click the button below to install the latest version of the app from the Google Play Store.