We are tracked online! But did you know that marketers can even track us when we use Gmail, Outlook, etc. ? Yes! And can even tell how often, when and where we opened an email, and the device we used. It’s called Email Tracking.

What is Email Tracking?

Email Trackers use some form of interactive element in the email that gives details when we interact with them. It can even be a very small image that is not visible. It’s called Pixel tracking. This information is then used to decide the nature and frequency of emails that will be sent to you.

Block email trackers

One of the easiest ways to track someone online is through a redirect link, and it’s easy to spot. The link is usually embedded in the email. The idea is that the user clicks on a link that could entice him to spend money. However, in many of these situations, the link contains installed code that was created to track people across the web.

When you are tracked, the organization on the other end can know what web browser you are using, where you are from, among other things. Now it’s easy to spot links in an email, making it easier to avoid them. In a case like this, hackers and scammers use a different method.

Now we need to talk about it in more detail.

Tracking code embedded in images

One way to do this is to immediately block images from loading images or remote web content in your emails. and for this most email providers and clients offer a parameter.

One of the ways scammers and even marketers track people online is by adding a tracking code to an image, and that image is emailed to the user. Once the user opens the email, the information collected from the user is then sent directly to a company server.

Stop email tracking in Outlook client

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Outlook.com doesn’t offer this, but if you’re using the Outlook client, go to File > Options > Trust Center > Trust Center Settings > Automatic Downloads.

Select here:

  • Do not download image options in standard HTML emails or RSS items
  • Do not upload images in encrypted or signed HTML emails.

This way you can block MailTrack and other similar services.

Block email tracking in Gmail

Gmail is a messaging service that is one of the best available on the web as a free service today, but it should be noted that since it is a Google owned product, a lot of tracking takes place on a regular basis . If you want to avoid being tracked by marketers while using Gmail, there are things you can do to stop it.

Google has attempted to prevent the transmission of images in this way. A few years ago, the company decided to provide images through its own proxy server, which in turn hides your location from prying eyes. Whether or not it hides your location from Google itself is something we haven’t figured out yet.

Still, Google’s implementation isn’t perfect, so the best thing to do is to simply block images from loading altogether.

Avoid trackers by blocking images from loading

Gmail See all settings

When you want to block images from loading in Gmail, we suggest you click on the gear icon located in the upper right corner, and from there select, See all parameters.

Now from the General tab, you’ll want to scroll down until you see Pictures.

Gmail image settings

To select ” Ask before displaying external images“, and finally, press Save changes.

Reload the page and all images should be blocked from loading immediately in your Gmail account.

Keep in mind that going this route will disable Gmail’s dynamic messaging feature, which allows for more email interaction.

It’s not a must-have feature, so we think it’s possible to get by without it.

Email Tracker Blocker Browser Extensions

Ugly Email, Gmelius, and PixelBlock are third-party browser extensions that can help. You might want to check them out.

Related readings:

  • Disable or enable read receipt of emails in Outlook
  • How to trace an email address back to the owner’s source IP address.

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