How to protect privacy and avoid email or mail tracking

Maintaining privacy when browsing the Internet or using any type of service is very important, but it is not always possible. Hackers can steal personal data by many methods and one of them is through the use of email . They could find out information that they later use to carry out attacks, send malware, steal passwords … For this reason, we are going to explain what we can do to be protected when using e-mail.

Why privacy may be compromised when using mail

protect privacy and avoid email or mail tracking

There are different methods by which they may collect information when we use the mail. One of them is to get our name and surname when logging in to sites where we put the e-mail address. It is usual that when we open a program or when entering a page they allow us to log in directly with our Gmail account, for example. They are automatically receiving certain personal information.

Another way is through an email that they send us. In it they can send attachments that we download and they can be Trojans capable of stealing information, viruses that infect the computer, keyloggers that can steal passwords … In addition, even links in the same emails can take us to pages where they request personal data and we believe that we are facing something legitimate but it is not.

On the other hand, there is also the risk that our e-mail address will be made public. Normally this happens if there has been a leak in the provider we use, such as Gmail, Outlook or the one we use, but especially if we have put the address in an open forum or web page where anyone can access.

Malos hábitos de privacidad

Steps to protect email privacy

After seeing that our privacy can be at risk if we make mistakes when using the mail, we are going to give some tips so that this does not happen. The objective is that personal information is always protected, preventing our data from being stolen when sending or receiving an e-mail.

Do not make the address public

The first thing is the most basic and essential of all: do not make mistakes . It may happen that we need to solve a problem and look for information in a forum and, unconsciously, we leave the public address so that anyone can see it. The same would happen if we put a comment on a web page.

This could allow a marketing company or even a cybercriminal to include us on spam lists or send us an e-mail with the aim of stealing more personal data, tracking us and infecting the computer.

Avoid clicking on suspicious links

Of course you also have to be careful with the links that we receive in any email. Shortened links can be especially dangerous, they are links much shorter than they would be originally and serve precisely to hide a strange address that can set off alarms.

Through a link we could end up on a web page that has been designed to steal information. For example, a Phishing website where we are going to find a section to log in but our data goes directly to the attackers. This logically puts privacy at risk and should be avoided.

Never download attachments without security

Something similar must be taken into account when we are going to download an attachment that we receive by mail. It is another of the techniques that can put our data at risk when using email. An attacker can send a Word, PDF, or even an image file and contain malware.

That malware can be very diverse as well. On the main issue that concerns us, which is privacy and preventing the theft of information, keyloggers capable of collecting the passwords that we enter could sneak in and steal the e-mail password. Also spyware, which are computer programs designed to spy on users.

How can we safely lower them? The first thing is to actually verify the source of that message and see that it is from a legitimate user. We must always download files when we trust the sender. But also, it is essential to have a good antivirus that protects us and can analyze the files to find threats. For example we can name Windows Defender, Avast, Bitdefender …

Use a reliable provider

Are we using a mail provider that protects data and information? This is also essential. We have many options available, but not all of them are going to keep privacy the same. Some examples of reliable providers that maintain privacy very well are ProtonMail, Tutanota and Mailfence.

These providers that we have named, as well as others that although they are not specific for security and privacy will work very well such as Gmail and Outlook, they will allow us to avoid tracking. For example, if we receive an email that contains a one-pixel image, which is a method to know if we have opened an email or not, it will block it. This is something that many marketing companies use to collect information from users through a tiny, unnoticeable image.

Protect your account and computer

Another point to take into account to avoid being tracked when using e-mail or that privacy is at stake is to protect the security of both the account and the equipment that we are using. The latter includes any computer, mobile, tablet …

It will be essential to have a good password that prevents the entry of intruders. This key must be unique, totally random and contain everything necessary for it to be considered strong: have letters (uppercase and lowercase), use numbers and also other symbols such as $,%, & … For example, a good key would be: 4% kR -8ts) -83.

Regarding how to protect the computer, beyond having a good antivirus we must also have the system updated . You have to have the latest versions to avoid problems that can be exploited by hackers.

Therefore, it is important to maintain privacy when using email. We have seen what we can take into account to avoid being tracked and that personal information is at risk. This will allow us to be able to use the mail with total security.