It is true that firms have an interest in knowing what you are doing on-line, be it your posts on social media, or topics you’re reading on Wikipedia. From your digital footprint, tech giants, your internet service provider, even your car dealer will gain a large quantity of information on you.
But whereas it’s typically notable by the majority that what we tend to do on-line is somehow being tracked, not many of us understand that firms are victimization slick tricks for many years that change them to dig into your email activity.
With an investigation trick called a tracking pixel, an organization or just about anyone will see once and wherever you’ve got opened the e-mail they sent, the time taken by you to scan it, and the way many times. you’ve opened that email again.
How tracking pixels work
Tracking pixels are sometimes an invisible image file that measures 1×1 pixel that’s placed while not your information into an email sent to you. once an email is opened, the tracking pixel–incorporated with a code–will send the info back to the firm’s server, containing all the data as well as your location wherever the e-mail was opened, however oftentimes you opened it, and far additional.
Tracking pixels work by taking full advantage of basic html technology. whereas most emails we tend to share among friends are typically sent in plain text, the emails from some firms sometimes have HTML-based pictures in them, as an example, their emblem or image of their product. The pictures within the email are displayed once it’s opened and therefore the html code directs your device to retrieve those images from the sender’s servers. It’s this extraction of the image files from the sender’s servers that permits them to see precisely what time you opened the e-mail.
Why tracking pixels are heavy
Even though tracking pixels may be a blessing for marketers however our digital privacy matters loads and this snoopy technique is heavy at several levels. Nobody has ever been offered the selection whether or not to participate or to not tracking pixels. If a marketer lodged before of your house to peek whether or not you’ve scan their email or not, it would be terrific. Similarly, however is victimization this slick invisible technique to realize identical data not terrifying?
Also, it’s not simply firms that may use tracking pixels–which is simply a small invisible image–can be employed by anyone to spy on you.
How to block Tracking Pixels
The good news is that tracking pixels could be easily blocked and you just need to configure your email client to not load remote images by default. Doing this will guarantee that a tracking pixel can’t send the code back to the sender’s server alerting them you’ve read their email. Here’s how you can block tracking pixels in the most popular email services and email clients:
macOS Mail app: go to Mail>Preferences>Viewing and uncheck “Load remote content in messages.”
iOS’s Mail app: go to the Settings app, tap Mail, then toggle the “Load Remote Images” switch to OFF (white).
Gmail on the web: Log into your Gmail account, then click the Settings (cog) icon. Now click Settings. On the Settings screen under the General tab, scroll down to the Images section and make sure “Ask before displaying external images” is selected.
Android Gmail app: in the Gmail app, select your account, tap on Images, and then select “Ask before showing.”
Outlook email client: Microsoft has disabled loading remote images by default—a wise move. To make sure it’s still disabled, open Outlook and choose Options > Trust Center. Under Microsoft Outlook Trust Center, click Trust Center Settings. Make sure the “Don’t download pictures automatically in HTML email messages or RSS items” checkbox is not checked.