Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Your emails are constantly spied on

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Jillian Castillo
Jillian Castillo
"Proud thinker. Tv fanatic. Communicator. Evil student. Food junkie. Passionate coffee geek. Award-winning alcohol advocate."

Large brands, such as merchant sites and other marketing companies, mask the equivalent of a Biscuit Inside emails to keep track of your habits and uses. According to a study, there are invisible pixels in two out of three emails today!

Two out of three emails contain a small cookie that allows the sender to know the recipient’s reaction. This is what BBC In a survey conducted withImplementation Correspondence Hey. For sites The web And tracking ads, we talk about a “cookie” and for emails, it’s ” Pixel spy ».

Why is this term? Because it is a file Pixels It is not visible to the recipient, and it is hidden in the message to monitor internet users’ uses. Physically, it takes the form of a single pixel over an image of a single pixel, often transparent so as not to be detected. It is a bit like a cookie process except that, this time, there is no warning or alert, and the goal of the sender is to know when the message was opened, from what type of device, and even from which site since the cookie collects a fileIP address.

A cookie that monitors your habits

This is clearly a clear breach of personal data, and according to David Heinemeyer Hanson, co-founder of Hey, the average internet user receives about 20 emails a day with a pixel tag. For 10% of users, that can increase to 50 messages per day. His study is based on about a million messages that are received daily on his company’s servers, and the culprits are mostly commercial websites and marketing companies. The same The social networking site Facebook He uses this system on his social network to target ads.

If we do not find this type of cookie in the email of a relative or colleague, it will be hidden in emails containing the subject. Door In promotions or sales. As soon as the pixel appears in the message, such as any link or image, the sender is notified because the pixel is stored on his server, and displaying the message leads to the image being uploaded tothe computer From the recipient.

At the moment, there is no complaint against this type of practice, but on the other hand, it is possible to guard against it Refuse to view photos in e-mail. By default, Gmail blocks the display of images in emails that are considered as such Spam, But it is possible to do so for their entire incoming mail. In the parameters, you should access the “General” tab And check the box “Request confirmation before viewing external images”.

Option to prevent it from being spied on

We find the same option in Mail on iOS But also in Outlook, the Software Correspondence MicrosoftAnd, this is not a problem when you receive email messages that contain text. However, in the case of images, this forces you to activate the display option, thus risking “tracking”.

This practice is not different from that which has allowed Internet delivery companies to “read” emails received to serve content-based ads. Even though they were just bots, they were able to access message content for advertising purposes. This time, a simple point-sized image can do almost the same.

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