Some of the emails that end up in your Yahoo Mail inbox may contain tracking images, a small but invasive way for the sender of the email to know if you’ve opened it, and if so, when. The images can also alert the sender if you’ve forwarded the email. For many people, this is a huge invasion of privacy.
If you’re uncomfortable with an email sender knowing if and when you’ve opened their email and what you’ve done with it, this article is for you. We’ll discuss what a tracking image is and what you can do to block them in Yahoo Mail.
What Is a Tracking Image?
A tracking image is an ingenious way of alerting an email sender when the recipient of an email opens it. Usually referred to as a tracking pixel, it’s a small piece of code that’s embedded in a transparent, single-pixel image within the email. You won’t have any idea if there are tracking pixels located in an email which is what makes them so stealthy.
Once you’ve opened the email, the tracking pixel is activated and sends information back to the sender. It can report when the email was opened and at what time. Some can also detect your location and what type of device you opened the email on. Tracking pixels work similarly to cookies and give information about your actions without you being aware of it since all of the action takes place in the background without any indication of what it’s doing.
How to Block Tracking Images in Yahoo Mail on a PC or Mac
Since tracking images work without your knowledge, it’s impossible to know if an email contains them or not. They relay a lot of information, some of which you don’t want an unknown person or company to know. Thankfully, you can make a change to your Yahoo Mail settings and stop them from being activated. To learn how to do this with your Yahoo Mail account, follow the instructions below:
- Log in to your Yahoo Mail account.
- Click on the “Cog” icon to open up your mail settings.
- Select “More settings.”
- Click on “Viewing email.”
- Under the “Show images in messages” heading, choose “Ask before showing external images.”
To protect your privacy from tracking images in Yahoo emails, making this minor change to your settings is the best thing you can do. When receiving emails from trusted friends and family, you can choose to allow images to show. For others, you can decide whether to allow them or not.
Other Methods of Blocking Tracking Images
Making a change in your email settings that gives you the option to block external images isn’t the only way to avoid triggering tracking pixels. There are extensions available that give you even greater control. Here we’ll discuss a few of the most popular ones.
One of the more popular tracking image blockers is the Ugly Email extension. Once downloaded, the extension will alert you to which emails in your inbox contain tracking pixels. With Ugly Email, emails with trackers will have an eyeball icon next to them to indicate the messages with tracking images. You’ll have the choice of disabling them upon opening. The developer of this extension doesn’t track any of your information and all Ugly Email data is stored on your computer locally. It’s open-sourced, so you are free to make adjustments and changes.
The Trocker browser extension will block a variety of different tracking images. Just like Ugly Email, Trocker runs locally on your computer and stores all data on your device. Its developers don’t collect or track any information from you. Once installed, it will monitor all of your incoming emails and detect any tracking pixels located within emails. You’ll be able to safely open your emails without fear of triggering a tracker. A nice feature is that it’ll show you where in the body of the email the tracking pixels are by displaying its logo in the area.
Another useful extension used for locating tracking pixels is PixelBlock. Similar to the others mentioned in this article, it’ll warn you of potential trackers by placing a red eye icon next to emails in your inbox that use trackers. When you open one of these emails, the extension will block any attempts at transmitting information back to the sender.
Avoiding Tracking Blockers Is a Breeze
Tracking pixels embedded within innocent-looking emails has become a commonplace way for companies and individuals to know where and when you opened an email from them. Many people feel that this is an invasion of privacy. But by making a quick and easy change to your Yahoo Mail settings, you can eliminate this issue by choosing which emails you’ll allow external images to display. There are also browser extensions available that can also help you to block tracking images.
Have you wanted to block tracking imagines in your Yahoo Mail? Did this article help you to do so? Let us know in the comments section below.