Are your emails being tracked? There is a chance that marketers are tracking your emails. Why? This depends. Sometimes, marketers are seeing if you opened an email and will use this data to improve their “open” rates. If you’ve signed up for a newsletter, there’s a good chance that there is some form of tracking that lets the owner of the newsletter see what actions you took after opening the mail.
If you want to stop being tracked, there is little you can do aside from opting out of these mails.
Thankfully, there is a free Gmail plugin that will tell you if your emails are being tracked called Ugly Email. Installing the extension is easy:
That’s it. Now, you’ll be able to tell what emails are currently being tracked on Gmail. Remember, this extension is only able to work on Gmail, so if you have Yahoo or Hotmail, this extension will not help you.
The next step is to open up your inbox, and take a look at your email. You’ll notice one difference on some of the emails you receive: an eye icon. When the eye icon is present, this means that there is some form of coding within the email that will track your actions.
It is up to the user to take the appropriate action on what to do next: read the mail or delete it.
Normally, you wouldn’t be able to tell if you were being tracked or not. Unfortunately, Ugly Email is not available for Firefox, but the company is currently developing an add-on that will be able to be downloaded on the Firefox web browser.
Plugins allow you to easily tell if your emails are being tracked. Normally, tracking is done through HTML coding that will open a unique image with an identifier code that tracks each email sent. The only way to get around this, aside from using a plugin, would be to disable all HTML when using an email client. With most emails containing some form of HTML for formatting, your emails will look like a bunch of jumbled text.
If you think you can block tracking with something like AdBlock, this will not work.
Ugly Email Privacy Concerns
Many users have asked if Ugly Email actually tracks data. While this doesn’t make sense for a privacy plugin, it is definitely a valid question.
The developers behind the plugin have stated that they do not store, transfer or transmit any data from users. This means that none of your actions will be tracked by the plugin.
Now, you’re probably wondering how Ugly Email is able to identify tracking without actually opening the email. The developers have created a database of different email tracking services and continue to add more company’s daily. The company does not state how they find new tracking services.
If you don’t want your email tracked, download Ugly Email for Chrome today.