All those marketing emails that crowd your inbox aren’t just selling a product but they’re also tracking if you’ve opened your email and where you were at the time by using a software similar to Mailchimp to embed tracking software into the message.
How exactly does it work? A single tracking pixel is embedded into the email, usually hidden within a link or an image and when the email is opened. Then the code within the pixel sends the info back to the company’s server.
A simple basic step you can take to avoid trackers is to stop your email from automatically loading images since the images are where the majority of these pixels are. You won’t be able to avoid all the trackers in your email, but this will stop the majority of them. Here’s how to do it:
DISABLE IMAGE AUTOLOADING IN GMAIL:
- Click on the gear icon in the upper right corner to access your settings, and click on “See all settings.”
- In the “General” tab (the first one), scroll down to “Images.”
- Select “Ask before displaying external images.”
- Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on “Save Changes.”
Another option is using an email client such as Thunderbird, which blocks remote images by default. This application allows you pictures from contacts that you trust not to send hidden code in their images and lets you download embedded content on an individual basis.