How to Protect Your Mails from Email Tracking

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Isn’t it annoying for you to find out your mailbox flooded with marketing emails, just for pushing a product or service?

When you find out that they aren’t just sending you the emails, but also tracking whether you have opened the email or not. They even get the details regarding your location at the time of using MailChimp software to embed the tracking it into the message.

Let’s See How Emails Are Tracked?

A single email tracking pixel is embedded into the email, this is usually hidden either inside an image or a link. Whenever we open the email, the code which is embedded within the pixel is sent back to the server of the company. Attempts have been made to restrict the amount of information that is transmitted through this procedure. Since 2014, Google has served all images through the proxy servers, which would help in hiding your location from a few email tracking applications. There are various extensions formed like Ugly Email and PixelBlock that help in blocking the trackers on Chrome and Firefox.

How Can You Stop Email Tracking?

There is an easy step you can take to avoid trackers; you can disable your email client from downloading the images automatically. This way the email tracking pixels won’t be downloaded. There are certain extensions that can help in the detection of trackers present inside the email which is received. The sad truth is that you might not be able to avoid all the trackers that can hide in your email the same way, but this can stop a lot of them.

Here’s how to stop your email from being tracked in the major desktop and mobile email apps:

How can you disable image autoloading in Gmail?

  • Firstly, you need to open the settings, so click on the Gear icon present on the upper right corner to access your settings, and then click on “See all Settings”.
  • Then Go to General Tab and scroll down the images option.
  • Next, select the “Ask before displaying external images” option.
  • Scroll down to the bottom of the page.
  • Click on “Save Changes”.

This process will help in turning off Gmail’s Dynamic email feature, this would help in making the emails more interactive.

How can you disable image autoloading in Microsoft Outlook (Office 365)?

  • Click on the “file” icon then go to “Options”.
  • Go to the “Outlook Options” window.
  • Select “Trust Center”.
  • Click on the “Trust Center Settings” button.
  • Now you need to check all those boxes which are labeled “Don’t download pictures automatically in standard HTML messages or RSS items”.
  • You also need to check “Don’t download pictures in encrypted or signed HTML email messages”. You can make several exceptions to the first item if you want by checking the boxes underneath it.

How can you disable image autoloading in Apple Mail?

  • Click on the “mail” option.
  • Go to “Preferences”
  • Click on the “Viewing” tab.
  • Uncheck the option of “Load remote content in messages”.

How can you disable image autoloading in Android Gmail?

  • Go to the upper left corner and tap on the three lines present.
  • Scroll down and select “Settings”.
  • Now select the email account you want to work with and tap on it.
  • Next, you must scroll down and select “image”.
  • Select “Ask before displaying external images” and tap on it.

How can you disable image autoloading in iOS Gmail?

  • Firstly, go to Gmail for iOS, select the hamburger menu in the upper left corner.
  • Scroll down to settings.
  • Select the account you want to personalize and tap on it.
  • Now tap onto “images”.
  • Now switch from “Always display external images” to “Ask before displaying external images”.

How can you disable image autoloading on iOS mail?

  • Firstly, go to settings and tap on it.
  • Then go to mail and find the “Messages” section.
  • Then toggle off “Load Remote Images”.

What are the Extensions Available?

Besides disabling automatic image loading, there is another option which is to use an email client such as Thunderbird. It helps in blocking remote images by default. This application is very useful, it allows you to download the embedded content on an individual basis or allows pictures from contacts that you trust not to send any hidden code in their images.

Browser extensions are also available that can help you stop your emails from being tracked. The top recommendation we provide is PixelBlock for Google Chrome. It helps in creating a barrier for the pixel trackers and notifies whenever an email tracking attempt is made.

Conclusion

When someone is fiddling with your email settings, and it is too inconvenient for you, or you are extra careful about your privacy. There is a number of browser extensions that will help in blocking the tracking pixels while they alert you to those emails which contain trackers.

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Vishakha Puniyani
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