How To Know If Your Emails Are Being Secretly Tracked

Heard about Bananatag, Streak or Yesware? Well these software know about you. Particularly, they know if you have opened the emails sent by their customers, your location, the device that you used to access the email, whether you’ve clicked on the links present in the email and similar other things. Isn’t that creepy?

It’s a well-known fact that many companies especially online marketing companies track emails. Generally, they add small pixels of images which tell them when emails have been opened by the recipients. This is done for several purposes such as drawing information about users or customers mainly through IP tracking. Gathering users’ data is very important from a business point of view.

But from users’ point of view, it raises a question on their privacy. Therefore it is very important for us (users) to protect ourselves from such emails and keep our privacy secure. But how? Simply by not clicking on promotion emails which contain promotional images. Do you really think it is enough to remain safe? The answer is no! There are certain emails which are not possible to identify as fishy.

Here you need a solution that will secure your account and keep your privacy. Sonny Tulyaganov realized the pain of users and came up with an amazing solution named ‘Ugly mail’. If this program is installed on your system, it adds an evil eye to any tracked mail in your Gmail account.

The program works before you click on any email. It ensures that you don’t transmit any of your valuable information to the sender. It is sent to the sender only if you open the mail despite the ‘evil eye’ –Ugly mail appended to it.

What is it?

Ugly mail is a plugin created by Gmail. It blocks read receipts and other emails which use tracking pixels. When a tracker is detected, ugly mail shows you an eyeball icon in the subject line to alert you about the tracker hidden inside the email.

How  does it Help?

It is a simple yet effective service. Once you have installed the service, the code identifies the emails that consists of tracking image pixel from Bananatag, Streak or Yesware. It informs you about the tracking pixels and warns you not to open such emails. By this way, it safeguards your privacy.

How to Install it on Your System?

The very first thing you need in order to install the solution is you require a Google Chrome browser. Once you install the browser, go to Chrome extensions and search for Ugly Mail. You will find a Ugly Mail Installation page in the Chrome web store.  There you will find ‘Add to Chrome’ option. Click on the button to get it installed on your system.

Limitations of Ugly Mail: One of the major limitation of Ugly mail is that it works only for the three services, mentioned earlier (Bananatag, Streak, and Yesware). There are hundreds of trackers out there and in this scenario working only on those three is really a serious issue. However, the creators of it promised to extend their services to more number of tracking solutions.

The next limitation is, it only works for Gmail account for Chrome extension. There is no option for Outlook and other mail services. It would not work on Safari and Firefox browsers as well.

What is the Alternative?

One of the alternatives of Ugly mail is PixelBlock.  Like Ugly mail, it is also capable of tracking emails that have been tracked. In this solution, the mail is simply blocked.

Final thoughts: PixelBlock will remain here until we don’t find any foolproof methods however Ugly Mail is a great initiative in a right direction. Despite all limitations, the program saves us from the promoters and advertisers from driving our privacy and information.

Share your views and doubts in the comment section.

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