Did you know that when you open an email, the sender can find out when and where you opened it? They do this by inserting a small piece of code in their promotional emails. This might not be a problem if you trust the company, but nowadays, almost anyone can use this feature. Read on to learn how to disable it and protect your privacy.
The sender of the email embeds an invisible 1 x 1 pixel image, a so-called pixel tracker, into the message or an attached document. When you open it, the email server requests that tiny image from the server where it’s stored. That request reveals the opening time, the location, and the device, which is then passed on to the sender.
This technology is often used by marketers to better understand their email recipients. If you’re opening an email from a brand you trust, you may not mind leaking this information. However, just about anyone can track you by using free pixel tracking apps! Have you ever accidentally opened an email that you wanted to ignore? Well, you’ve already given your information away.
Fortunately, most email providers have a way to block pixel trackers. All you have to do is block your emails from automatically loading images.
There are many browser extensions you can use that will identify the emails that secretly use trackers, and will block them for you. However, be cautious when using them. They will require access to your inbox, meaning they may or may not be able to scan your emails. To limit online tracking you are better off using ad blockers and script blocker extensions.
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