A DuckDuckGo Email Protection service was last year launched as a limited beta, with a waiting list for those wanting to use it. The waitlist is now gone, and anyone can get access to it right away.

The privacy-focused email forwarding service strips out trackers, and offers the ability to create disposable email addresses, all without changing your email provider – similar to Apple’s Hide My Email feature …

Background

Despite the proliferation of messaging services available today, email has retained its dominant position as the primary way to contact people. As of this year, there are around 4.2B email users, and we collectively send and receive more than 300B emails on a daily basis.

Unfortunately, a huge proportion of those emails are spam. Worse, the majority track when we open these emails. This is achieved with tracking pixels – a single-pixel image unique to each copy of the email. When we view the email, the server logs the fact that we have ‘seen’ that image, and therefore opened the email.

Additionally, links in emails are often personalized, with unique codes added to the URL, so companies can see who has clicked on a link.

Privacy-focused browser company DuckDuckGo last year launched an Email Protection service as a limited beta.

We’re excited to announce the beta release of DuckDuckGo’s Email Protection. Our free email forwarding service removes email trackers and protects the privacy of your personal email address without asking you to change email services or apps.

Most existing email privacy solutions come with significant tradeoffs. You either have to switch email services or apps entirely, or degrade your email experience by hiding all images. We believe protecting your personal information from leaking to third parties should be simple and seamless, like the rest of DuckDuckGo’s privacy protection bundle.

Waitlist over for DuckDuckGo email privacy

The company has today announced that the waitlist has been removed, and anyone can get access right away.

We’ve removed the waitlist for DuckDuckGo Email Protection, making the beta open for everyone to try. Get your @duck.com email address today!

DuckDuckGo Email Protection is a free email forwarding service that removes multiple types of hidden email trackers and lets you create unlimited unique private email addresses on the fly – without switching email providers or apps.

We’ve also added new features like Link Tracking Protection that helps prevent tracking in email links, Smarter Encryption that helps with unencrypted email links, and the ability to reply directly from your Duck Addresses.

DuckDuckGo says that it has been monitoring the number of emails which contain trackers during the limited beta, and found that they were present in 85% of incoming email.

Where links in emails are insecure (HTTP), the company does a lookup to see whether an encrypted (HTTPS) version is available. If so, it will load that instead.

Finally, you can now reply directly from one of your free @duck.com email address if you wish, preserving your email privacy when replying.

Getting access to the free service

Download the DuckDuckGo mobile app on your iPhone, or upgrade to the latest version, then go to the Settings cog top-right, and scroll down to Email Protection.

The feature is available in the DuckDuckGo mobile and Mac apps, with extensions available for Firefox, Chrome, Brave, or Edge. Note that the Mac app still has a waitlist.

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