/>
X
Tech
Why you can trust ZDNET : ZDNET independently tests and researches products to bring you our best recommendations and advice. When you buy through our links, we may earn a commission. Our process

'ZDNET Recommends': What exactly does it mean?

ZDNET's recommendations are based on many hours of testing, research, and comparison shopping. We gather data from the best available sources, including vendor and retailer listings as well as other relevant and independent reviews sites. And we pore over customer reviews to find out what matters to real people who already own and use the products and services we’re assessing.

When you click through from our site to a retailer and buy a product or service, we may earn affiliate commissions. This helps support our work, but does not affect what we cover or how, and it does not affect the price you pay. Neither ZDNET nor the author are compensated for these independent reviews. Indeed, we follow strict guidelines that ensure our editorial content is never influenced by advertisers.

ZDNET's editorial team writes on behalf of you, our reader. Our goal is to deliver the most accurate information and the most knowledgeable advice possible in order to help you make smarter buying decisions on tech gear and a wide array of products and services. Our editors thoroughly review and fact-check every article to ensure that our content meets the highest standards. If we have made an error or published misleading information, we will correct or clarify the article. If you see inaccuracies in our content, please report the mistake via this form.

Close

Tired of being tracked online? DuckDuckGo's Email Protection can help

Who wouldn't want a 'Duck address,' especially when it's defending them from spam, tracking, and other untoward internet elements?
Written by Jack Wallen, Contributing Writer

DuckDuckGo is all about privacy and the company has gone out of its way to help protect consumers around the globe. One new arena it has entered is that of email privacy. You might not know this, but tracking companies can even do their thing using your email address.

Consider this: Every time you sign up for a site/service or make an online purchase, you use an email address. That email address can be used by trackers to keep tabs on your behavior. No one wants that, which is why DuckDuckGo has released the beta of its email protection service to the public at large.

What is DuckDuckGo's email protection?

Simply put, the DuckDuckGo email protection allows you to define your actual email address with the service, and then, when you need to use an email address online, you then use DuckDuckGo to create either a personal or private "Duck" address for the website in question. Any email that is then sent to the address is stripped of trackers and then forwarded to the personal email address you configured. 

By using this service, you can be sure that any time you need to sign up for anything using an email address, nothing untoward will come of it. 

The DuckDuckGo Email Protection service offers smarter encryption, link tracking protection, Duck address replying, a self-service dashboard, and more.

Also: Permanently protect your email addresses for only $20

Use cases for DuckDuckGo Email Protection

There are a number of reasons you might want to use DuckDuckGo's Email Protection, such as:

  • Shopping.
  • Avoiding spam.
  • Newsletter signups.
  • Unknown or new contacts.
  • In place of long email addresses.

Let's see how to use DuckDuckGo's Email Protection service.

Getting started with DuckDuckGo's Email Protection

1. Install the DuckDuck Go Privacy Essentials add-on

You must first install the DuckDuckGo Privacy Essentials add-on for your web browser of choice. To do this, open your web browser and point it to the link associated with your browser.

Also: How to check the Privacy Report for website tracking on Safari 

2. Sign up

Once you have the Privacy Essentials add-on installed, point your web browser to the DuckDuckGo Email page and click Get Started. When prompted, click Next (you'll do this twice).

The Get Started button for DuckDuckGo's email protection service.

Getting started with the DuckDuckGo Email Protection service.

Image: Jack Wallen

3. Create your email addresses

You will then be required to create a new Duck address and then enter an address that will receive all emails stripped of trackers. Once you've created your email addresses, click Continue, and then when prompted, click This is Correct (after reviewing your addresses).

The DuckDuckGo email address signup window.

Signing up for your new Duck address.

Image: Jack Wallen

Also: How to recall an email in Outlook

4. Verify your new address

Go to the email account that will serve as your DuckDuckGo forwarded address and retrieve the one-time passphrase. Copy that passphrase, paste it into the text area, and click Sign In.

5. Use the service

Once everything is set up, you'll find a new entry in the DuckDuck Privacy Essential add-on, labeled Create New Duck Address. Click that entry and it will copy a randomly generated Duck email address to your clipboard that you can use when signing up for services. Any email that goes to that randomly generated email address will be stripped of any nastiness and forwarded to your email address.

The DuckDuckGo Privacy Essentials popup menu.

Accessing a new Duck address is found within the DuckDuckGo Privacy Essentials add-on.

Image: Jack Wallen

And that, my email-dependent friends, is all there is to add a layer or two of protection for your email communications. I highly suggest you give this service a try. Even if you only use it for online shopping and newsletter signups, you'll be glad you did.

Editorial standards