DuckDuckGo, a tech company you’d be quite familiar with for privacy focused apps including a web browser that is available for Apple iPhone and Android phones, a search engine and privacy browser extensions, has added a new tool in their arsenal. It is called Email Protection, and this service is now in the beta test phase. This will, and most of you probably never realized this, will remove trackers that are often integrated within emails that are sent to you which detect when you opened an email, log your location as well as the device details of the phone or PC you used. This data is subsequently used to target you with online advertising, as well as more spam emails that you probably wouldn’t find space for in your life.
What Does It Do? The DuckDuckGo Email Protection is basically an email forwarding service, and you can continue to use any and all of your existing email accounts—Gmail, Microsoft Outlook and others. DuckDuckGo will instead get you a new email address, which will be something like email@example.com and the idea being that this is the email address that you should be giving out more often. When an email lands on this DuckDuckGo email account, it will be scraped off any hidden trackers integrated in an email message. You can then set this to forward the mail to your primary email account, which you’ve been using all these years. In a way, this is a preventive measure to keep your existing Gmail or other email inboxes clean for the future, because this is something which steps in now and not retrospectively.
It may be a good idea to share this new DuckDuckGo Email Protection address on websites and other platforms which you feel may eventually send you newsletters or downright spam you at some point. DuckDuckGo says that all emails received are stripped off trackers and they’ll be forwarded to you. No emails are ever saved on their systems.
How Do You Sign Up? You’ll need to download the DuckDuckGo browser app on your Android phone or Apple iPhone. This is available on the Google Play Store for Android phones and the App Store for Apple iPhones. Open the DuckDuckGo app > Settings > Email Protection > Join the Private Playlist. You will be notified as soon as you will have access enabled for the DuckDuckGo Email Protection service.