DuckDuckGo, an internet search engine that protects users’ privacy, is set to launch a new email service meant to stop ad companies from spying on your inbox.
The company’s new feature gives users a “@duck.com” email address for free, and it will forward emails to your regular inbox automatically after it analyzes the contents for trackers.
If any trackers are detected, the Email Protection feature will remove them.
DuckDuckGo New Email Protection Feature
DuckDuckGo Search Engine is known for not tracking users’ location. It is not surprising that the company created an email service that aims to protect the privacy of its users. Its email service will also generate disposable forwarding addresses via its mobile browser or desktop browser extensions, The Verge reported.
The personal DuckDuckGo email is meant to be given to family, friends, co-workers, or other close contacts.
Meanwhile, the disposable forwarding addresses can be used when signing up for newsletters, free trials, or anywhere that may sell your email address.
If the email address is compromised and you’ve been receiving spam emails, you can easily deactivate it and create a new one.
The email features are similar to Apple iOS 14 and iOS 15’s anti-tracking feature, but DuckDuckGo’s tools integrate into Android, iOS, and other web browsers.
Pushing for Privacy-Friendly Methods
Email privacy is one of the major goals for DuckDuckGo, as the search engine pushes for better and more private methods for different online tasks.
The company started with its search engine that keeps the user’s activities private and secure. It eventually branched out to mobile browser and desktop browser extensions to remove any tracker while you surf the web.
More than 70% of mailing lists have email trackers, according to a 2017 study published by Senglehardt.
Once the trackers are implemented, it lets the advertisers know when you open your email, where you are, and which device you are using.
Removing the email trackers also removes data points from profiles that ad companies have of you.
Consumer research showed that asking people to change to a new email address and provider would be challenging.
Instead of having users sign up for a new email address, the Email Protection feature can prevent any trackers from getting in.
Apple vs. DuckDuckGo
The concept of the DuckDuckGo is not new for iPhone users as it is similar to Apple iOS 14 Anti-Tracking feature.
When signing up for an app through an iPhone, iPad, or Mac, your Apple device can suggest a randomized email address. The emails will be sent to a random address, preventing the app from knowing your real email.
As for iOS 15 users, Apple is introducing a feature that will remove email trackers and keep your online activities private and secure.
What makes DuckDuckGo’s Email Protection feature different from Apple’s is that it is cross-platform. This means that users have a unified experience with a disposable email address on desktop, mobile, Android, or iPhone.
The feature also differs in how the software detects trackers. Apple loads trackers on its servers, and it sends information back to the servers of the tracker. Meanwhile, DuckDuckGo removes them from the email, according to Engadget.
Setting up the feature is easy. Users need to sign up through DuckDuckGo’s mobile app, tap on the Settings page and select Email Protection.
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Written by Sophie Webster
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