Yes, Your Emails Are Being Tracked — Here’s How To Stop It

Here’s something you might want to think about the next time you check your email: chances are, at least some of your messages are being tracked. Most email-tracking programs use something called pixel tracking. When one of these invisible images is added into an email, the person who sent it is able to track how often you open the message and whether or not you click on any links in the email. Fortunately, there’s something you can do. One of the easiest ways to prevent email tracking software from working is to block images from displaying by default. In just about every email service, there’s a setting you can enable. Of course, this means loading images in your email will require an extra click. In Gmail, click on the settings gear to open your email preferences. From the GENERAL tab, scroll down to images and check the box that says “Ask before displaying external images.” Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click SAVE CHANGES. If you have a non-Gmail email provider, you should be able to find a similar setting. Just look for something that says something like "ask before displaying external images.” You can also track the trackers. PixelBlock is a simple Chrome extension that blocks images from loading and displays a red eye at the top of messages when it detects a tracker. Similarly, Trocker is an add-on for Firefox that will show you pixel trackers and identify links that are being tracked. However, even with extensions, some trackers may still be able to slip through, but the extensions seem to be pretty adept at identifying the most obvious offenders.