You might know DuckDuckGo from its privacy-focused search engine. Its makers want to diversify the brand and venture into other ways to protect the privacy of users online, though. If you want to give your email some much-needed protection, you can now grab yourself your very own duck.com email.
Last year, DuckDuckGo launched a private beta of a new service it dubbed “Email Protection.” While it looks like it’s not ready for primetime just yet, the beta has been extended into a public, open one that everyone can apply to. The whole shtick of the DuckDuckGo search engine is that, unlike Google, it doesn’t track you in any way. Email Protection wants to bring that same exact principle to your email.
While you can get a duck.com email address, DuckDuckGo doesn’t offer an email client itself, so don’t expect a full competitor to ProtonMail here. Instead, that email address will forward emails to your existing address. In the process, it’ll strip those emails from any trackers they may have, such as those taking note of your location and whether you opened an email or not. If it did have trackers, it’ll also tell you how many it removed, and which ones they were.
You can also get both personal and private addresses. Personal addresses will have a name of your choosing and can act as the everyday email that you hand out to everyone. Private addresses, on the other hand, will have a randomly-generated name and can be quickly deactivated if you wish to do so. Those are made for things like account trials and online forms where you might not really want to share your actual email address.
The new public beta phase also includes new features. For one, it’ll now also remove any trackers that are embedded in images or links within an email.
You can also reply to emails directly from your duck.com address, in case you need to reply to something while still concealing your actual email. You likely won’t have to think about the email forwarding once you set it up, but in case you need to make any changes to your duck.com account, there’s a neat dashboard to do so.
Sounds good? You can give the open beta a shot by installing the DuckDuckGo extension in your browser (Chrome, Firefox, Edge), or by installing the (also in beta) DuckDuckGo Privacy Browser on smartphones and Macs.
Source: DuckDuckGo, The Verge