DuckDuckGo launched a private beta of its Email Protection service last year, which is a free privacy-focused forwarding service. Now, the beta is open to the general public, letting anyone sign up for a @duck.com email address.
As with its search engine and web browser, this DuckDuckGo product aims to lessen the ability of companies to track your habits and activities on the internet. With Email Protection, it uses the quacky domain name to mask your real email from corporations, similar to Apple’s Hide My Email feature and Firefox Relay.
The service will then strip any trackers from incoming emails before forwarding them to your real address and providing a breakdown of how many were removed, as well as which companies they originated from. Users have the option to use either a personal @duck.com address, which lets you assign any name of your choice or a private one which is randomly generated anytime you fill out an email field in forms.
With private addresses, you can choose to deactivate them individually whenever you’re done with them or if you receive too much spam — DuckDuckGo has no limits to how many private email addresses you can create. In conjunction with the open beta, the company has also added a new feature to Email Protection that automatically removes trackers from any links embedded in emails.
Additionally, the new Smarter Encryption feature will upgrade unencrypted HTTP links in emails to secure HTTPS links if they are on the company’s upgradable list. You can now also reply to emails directly from your duck.com address which helps keep your real email out of reach from companies but because it uses your personal email client, it doesn’t guarantee that your replies won’t contain any personal identifiers.
The company says you can delete your account or change the forwarding address at any time through the self-service dashboard. Users can register for Email Protection on the DuckDuckGo app, on their website while using its browser extension, or through DuckDuckGo for Mac.