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DuckDuckGo's Privacy-Enhanced eMail Forwarding

DuckDuckGo's Privacy-Enhanced eMail Forwarding

published: 16:04:59 31/08/2022

The privacy centric DuckDuckGo has had what it calls an "Email Protection" service in beta since July of last year, 2021. But they have just opened it to the public. It looks like a very useful and completely FREE service. So our listeners might want to jump over and grab their name or their favorite handle quickly before it's taken. I'll explain how to do that, then I'll tell you why this seems like a nifty service...

 

To register, go to https://duckduckgo.com/email/. If you don't currently have their browser extension installed you'll need to do that first. You can remove it later since it's not required to use the service. You'll be asked to provide a username which has not yet been taken. It will be your eMail @duck.com. You also provide an eMail address which will receive cleaned and forwarded eMail.

 

 

Okay, so what does this all get you?

Their Email Protection is DuckDuckGo's dedicated email forwarding system which strips advertising and profiling trackers from emails — links, scripts, images, media, etc. — before forwarding them to your registered forwarding eMail. When you receive the forwarded eMail you'll also see a short report of how many trackers were removed, which companies were responsible for their injection, and more. DuckDuckGo says that running the beta program for a year revealed that over 85% of all emails on the tester's communications contained trackers of one form or another.

 

So anything sent to “username@duck.com” will be forwarded after being cleaned and reformatted. And, in a VERY cool feature, Email Protection also provides users with unlimited disposable and manageable private addresses to use on sites you want to supply with a per-site eMail address. These can later be deactivated if spamming to that address becomes annoying. You can ask for as many throwaway eMail addresses as you need. And, of course, using unique eMail addresses confers some of the benefits of using unique passwords: In the event of a website's data breach linkability of your identity will be dramatically reduced.

 

Messages passing through DuckDuckGo are never stored by the vendor — they make that very clear — while what small amount of account and forwarding information is kept for operational reasons is deleted within 30 days after the account’s closure and even though eMail is forward to your real eMail address, it's possible to reply to those eMails from a Duck address. This can be useful where anonymity is useful.

 

The FREE service has a user-friendly dashboard for quickly configuring forwarding addresses, making on-the-fly changes, managing account settings, and more. In addition to a browser extension there are apps for Android and iOS which allow for the same sort of dashboard management.

 

Companies hide trackers in your emails that can capture personal information.