Summary

Email tracking is a helpful tool used for legitimate reasons by non-profit groups, businesses, and others sending out newsletters. It helps senders know that recipients have received an email. When you open an email, the sender can be notified based on unique images in the email traceable to you personally.

However, email tracking is also used by spammers and hackers for fraudulent purposes such as phishing for personal information. When you open spam emails, the sender knows that the email address is a good one to use and sell to others for future spam mailings.

To prevent this from happening, you can change a setting in your mail program. This is available for most email programs on Windows, Apple, and Linux computers. Programs like Outlook, Thunderbird, or Apple Mail let you disable tracking.

The instructions below are for Apple computers and devices.

Apple Mac Mail Settings

While in the Apple Mail program, on your Mac computer, go to the Mail menu and choose Preferences. Choose the Viewing options as shown below. Specifically, make sure there is no check-mark next to “Load remote content in messages.” The remote images are what could notify a sender when you open an email. You can still choose to show remote images for each email you open.

Apple iPhone Mail Settings

On an iPhone or iPad you can go to Settings and choose Mail. Scroll down to the “Load Remote Images” option and make sure that is turned off — slide left so no green is showing.