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Why I recommend DuckDuckGo Email Addresses


DuckDuckGo Offers an email forwarding service that will protect you from trackers and reduce your spam. It works well. The unique email addresses will become more and more useful in the coming years.

Most of my clients use DuckDuckGo (DDG) as their preferred search engine. However, DDG offers more than just a privacy-oriented and excellent search engine. It offers tracking prevention, email accounts and one-time email accounts for free. It is beginning to develop some paid options. I'd give those a little more time to mature.

Their basic free forwarding service

DuckDuckGo Email Protection is a free email forwarding service that removes hidden email trackers and lets you create multiple unique private email addresses on the fly. Email Protection works with your current email account. There is no need to change providers or juggle multiple inboxes. It isn't really an email account. It is an email address that strips the trackers and then forwards the email to your normal account. If you reply, then it goes back through them and on to the recipient, so your actual email address is protected. This is a free service.

Their unique address service

Why have a unique (one time) email address?
The world is cracking down on third-party tracking cookies. Third-party cookies are cookies placed on the site from someone other than the site itself (a third party). Google's Chrome is about to disable them, and the default in Firefox has long been to disable them. So, how can companies track you? How can the site charge reasonable advertising rates if it doesn't know who visits them and provides that information to advertisers so they can track you throughout cyberspace and even in "real space"?

The answer that they are beginning to use is to require you to register with your email address, which they verify with an email. Then, they sell those verified addresses to their advertisers. They call their advertisers business partners. The call selling your information, sharing with business partners.

However, if you register with a unique one-time email address, which will be forwarded to your real address by DDG, then there is nothing to track.

DDG's Email and unique email system
In addition to the basic email address, DDG adds the additional service of unlimited unique addresses created on the fly. When I'm required to provide an email address to someone I would rather not give even my DDG email address to, I simply use one of their on the fly created unique addresses.

When using DDG's Privacy Essentials add-on, which removes trackers on websites, you can enable their email forwarding service. Then, when an email address prompt appears, you'll be able to click the duck and either use your duck.com forwarding email address, or generate a new unique one on the fly.

Generating on the fly email addresses

It is easy to enable the service by clicking on the settings dots in the Privacy Essentials browser add-on and choosing email protection.

These one-time addresses are tracking proof because, the address is only used with that vendor, and they already have their interactions with you. It won't link to any other company or email address. Once again, DDG will remove any trackers and then forward the emails sent to that address to your normal email address. There's nothing else for you to do.

If you get spam at that one-time unique address, you know who sold it, and the emails to that address have a link at the top enabling you to delete that address.

What Devices?

DDG offers this option for mobile devices by using their privacy browser. They offer browser extensions for Windows and Mac computers.

Date: May 2024

Creative Commons License
This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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