Finding an Email Provider That Doesn't Track You

In this day of unprecedented connectivity, it may seem like our every move is being watched: Digital assistants listen to our conversations, our television-viewing habits are monitored by our providers and even our spending habits are observed by potential advertisers. That trend also extends to email.

Unless you have a private email service, your provider likely is tracking your activity. Public email providers typically allow email tracking, a code that enables users to see exactly when an email they sent is opened, and from where. While that approach may seem meaningless enough—who cares when you open an email?—it can make users the target of unwanted harassment. For instance, consider a company that relies on email tracking for sales purposes: If a representative sees the exact moment you open his or her email solicitation and your location, he might be ringing you on your work phone just moments later to try to close the deal. It’s a tool that subjects your personal email to intrusion and can lead to countless privacy complications.

If you want to stop email tracking, there are a number of options. For those still using public email, most services offer users the ability to turn off this feature, though it can be a challenge to find. Most providers will store the option under a Settings feature where users can disable the button that automatically displays external images.

To really keep your email private, however, the best method is opting for a private email account. Such services prioritize user privacy and security across all features of the email system. Private email providers not only don’t enable tracking, they also offer options like encryption, which adds another layer of password protection.

Our daily habits are already tracked and monitored by far too many sources. Don’t let email be one of them.