DuckDuckGo, which is best known for its privacy-oriented search engine announced a new service aimed at preventing email trackers. Email protection is now available in beta. It is a free forwarding service that removes tracking pixels from your email addresses in order to protect your personal information.
Approximately 70 percent of email addresses contain search engines, notes DuckDuckGo. They can tell the sender when you opened the email, the device you accessed it with, and even where you are when you read it. The company notes that trackers can also be used to target ads.
To use the email protection service, you will need to sign up for an excellent free email address @ duck.com. DuckDuckGo will extract all trackers from emails sent to that address and forward the messages to your regular inbox. The company says its systems will never save emails – not even the email address of the sender or recipient. When you receive the email, you’ll be able to see which trackers, if any, pulled DuckDuckGo.
You can also generate random addresses to prevent companies from tracking you via email. This part of the service is similar to Apple’s Hide my email option. The DuckDuckGo approach operates on multiple platforms, although it consists of its application and browser extensions.
If you think a website or app might attack you with spam or share an email address elsewhere, you can create a one-time address. This could come in handy when, for example, you sign up for a free trial. It will also provide a level of protection if that email address leaks due to data breaches. No one would know which email address you use for other services. DuckDuckGo says it will be important to deactivate the duck’s private address if you want to stop receiving email through it.
DuckDuckGo has opened a waiting list for the beta version of email protection and you will not need to provide any personal information to sign up. You’ll search for your location according to the timestamp stored on your device, and you’ll be notified when you can pin your @ duck.com email address. To register, open the DuckDuckGo app for iOS or Android, then go to Settings, Beta Features and Email Protection, then tap Join Private Waiting List.
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