How to stop your emails from being tracked

All of those obnoxious marketing emails that crowd your inbox aren’t just pushing a product. They’re also tracking whether you’ve opened the email, when you opened it, and where you were at the time by using software like MailChimp to embed tracking software into the message.

How does it work? A single tracking pixel is embedded into the email, usually (but not always) hidden within an image or a link. When the email is opened, the code within the pixel sends the info back to the company’s server.

There have been some attempts to restrict the amount of information that can be transmitted this way. For example, since 2014, Google has served all images through its own proxy servers, which could hide your location from at least some tracking applications. And extensions such as Ugly Mail and PixelBlock have been developed to block trackers on Chrome and Firefox.

There is also a simple basic step you can take to avoid trackers: stop your email from automatically loading images since images are where the majority of these pixels hide. You won’t be able to avoid all of the trackers that can hide in your email this way, but you will stop many of them.

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