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How to Block Email Tracking?


All those marketing emails that bombard your inbox are not just promotional material for a product. These emails also track whether you had opened them, when you opened them, and where you are located using an email tracking app like MailChimp.

So how does an email tracking app work, and how can you protect yourself from them? Learn everything you need to know about it here.

How Email Tracking Works

A tracking pixel is integrated into the email, which is usually hidden within a link or an image. As soon as you open the email, the code within the pixel sends back information to the company server.

Attempts have been to restrict the amount of information that is transmitted using this method. Take, for instance, how Google hosts all images through its very own proxy servers since 2014, which can hide your location from email tracking software. Additionally, anti-email tracking software like PixelBlock and Ugly Mail have been developed to block trackers on Firefox and Chrome.

Image Blocking Defeats Email Tracking

If you are looking for an easy way to prevent email tracking software from doing its thing, all you need to do is to take advantage of image blocking. It will prevent images from displaying by default. This setting can be enabled on almost every email service you can think of. However, if you want to load images, all you need to do is to click on them.

To block email tracking on different platforms, here is what you need to do:

Block Email Tracking in Gmail

  1. Access settings in Gmail by clicking the gear icon on the top right side of the screen
  2. Under General, scroll until you come across Images
  3. Select Ask before displaying external images
  4. Scroll down and click Save Changes

Note: By following these steps, you will also disable Gmail’s dynamic email feature.

Block Email Tracking in Office 365

  1. Click File > Options
  2. In Outlook Options, select Trust Center
  3. Click the Trust Center Settings button
  4. Check the following boxes:
    – Don’t download pictures automatically in standard HTML messages or RSS items
    – Don’t download pictures in encrypted or signed HTML email messages

Block Email Tracking in Microsoft Mail

  1. On the bottom left side of the screen, select the gear icon
  2. Under Settings, select the Reading pane
  3. Disable the following features:
    – Automatically download external images and style formats except S/MIME Mail
    – Automatically download external images and style formats for S/MIME Mail
  4. If you are using more than one Mail account, check Apply to all accounts

Block Email Tracking in Apple Mail

  1. Access Mail > Preferences
  2. Click the Viewing tab
  3. Uncheck Load remote content in messages

Block Email Tracking in Android/iOS Gmail

  1. In the upper left corner, select the three lines
  2. Select Settings
  3. Select the email account of your choice
  4. Select Images
  5. Select Ask before displaying external images
  1. In the upper left corner, select the three lines
  2. Select the account of your choice, and then Images
  3. Select Ask before displaying external images instead of Always display external images

Block Email Tracking on iPhone

  1. Select Settings > Mail
  2. Look for the Messages section, and then disable Load Remote Images

Tracking an Email Address – Getting to the Source

If you are curious as to who is tracking your email address and all your activities, there is a way to go about it. You can use tools like Trocker that highlight pixel trackers and even identify those links that are being monitored. The good news is Ugly Mail, and PixelBlock allows you to pull off similar feats as well. It is worth noting, though, as amazing as these extensions are, there is a possibility that some trackers will get through.

Alternatives to Image Blocking

As mentioned earlier, you do have the option to take advantage of anti-email tracking software, or you could use an email client that blocks remote images by default, like Thunderbird. But if you want to take things up a notch, then you should definitely consider using a VPN.

Not just any VPN will cut it, you will need a reliable VPN that will give you all the tools needed to ensure you are safe and secure online at all times. For instance, Ivacy VPN offers a ton of advanced security features that mask your online presence. In fact, it will be next to impossible for your own ISP to know what you are up to, let alone access your internet traffic. For this reason, and many others, make sure you use Ivacy VPN to enjoy true internet freedom without having to worry about being compromised online.

Tags : Email Tracking AppsEmail Tracking SoftwareHow to Block Email Tracking
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