Are Your Emails Being Recorded Without Permission?
Emails have been around even before the boon of digital age, and they have contributed to quite a number of online threats so far. Now that privacy concerns start gaining sensational foothold as of late, we are being introduced to another kind of email threat that’s slowly getting relevant in the mainstream landscape, and which was unheard of during the past. These are email surveillances recording personal data without victim’s knowledge.
Lately, the features online mailboxes possess seem to already be on par with typical Web pages: emailers can now embed almost anything in their email messages. And this is bad news when exploited by malicious advertising network.
It basically works like this: an Ad Agency will send a spam email right into a victim’s web mailbox. Usually the content looks harmless and merely full of unwanted promotional materials, but on the flip side, chances are , they could contain Ad Trackers – unauthorized and automatically executable application that downloads and uses invisible images to gather unwarranted data of the following:
• Records the victim’s frequency at reading spam ads, and which email was opened.
• Transmit personal data like email addresses and contact numbers.
• Can track the victim’s IP Address for a scarier privacy breach.
The stolen data, then, get sold to relevant advertising network for better heuristic analysis. Basically, they breach privacy protocols and profit with them.
How to shield your email privacy
Gmail users are considered relatively safe from this kind of privacy breach, since all emails (with their corresponding attachment) are to be delivered first at Google server, before sending to its proper recipient.
For other webmail providers, the use of VPN during the email process extinguishes the threat.
Disable automatic download of images from your web mailbox.
Consider availing paid Internet security software for added protection.
Take note that even though the issue is still remotely related to Ads and privacies, there may come a time that hackers will exploit this vulnerability for phishing purposes and propagation of malware.