The emails and mailings from marketing companies that spam many users’ inbox are not just product advertisements. Such emails are able to track whether the user opened the email when the email was opened, and where the user was at that moment. Companies can embed recipient tracking software into messages. All you have to do is enter “email tracking” into a search engine and select software for this function.
There are many methods for tracking email. For example, one of the simplest is the redirect link. Let’s say a user clicks on a link in a promotional email that leads to a product page. The link was encoded for tracking to send the desired data to another server – for example, which browser the user is using or from which link the user came to the article.
Finding a redirect link is pretty easy. The user can see any additional code added to the URL. However, there are other methods that are not as obvious.
The method works by embedding a single tracking pixel in the email. Most often, a pixel is hidden inside an image or link. When a user opens an email, the code in the pixel redirects the relevant information back to the server of the sending company.
The owners of postal services are trying to limit the amount of data that is transmitted in this way. For example, since 2014, Google has been loading all images in Gmail through its own proxy servers, which allow it to hide the user’s location from some tracking programs. There are also special extensions that block tracking in browsers and mail.
Users can take a few simple steps on their own to avoid most tracking methods. To do this, you need to prevent e-mail from automatically downloading images, since it is in the images that most of the programmed pixels are hidden.
How to Prevent Autoloading Pictures on a PC
Go to your Gmail mail settings via the gear icon in the upper right corner.
On the first tab “General” you need to scroll down to “Pictures”.
Select Ask if I want to show images.
Next, at the bottom of the page, click “Save Changes.”
Note that this will also disable Gmail’s dynamic email feature, which will make emails more interactive.
Email users from Microsoft and Apple can also turn off the automatic display of pictures and deleted content in emails through the settings menu.
How to Prevent Autoloading Pictures on Mobile Devices
Go to the Gmail app menu and scroll down to the Settings section.
Select the email account you want to set up.
Scroll down and select Images.
Select Ask if images should be shown (and turn off dynamic content).
iPhone users can also turn off image uploads in the Mail app settings.