Enhanced tracking protection

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4 mins
Category
Receive and read emails

Proton Mail(new window)‘s enhanced tracking protection is enabled for all users by default. This feature protects your privacy from snooping email senders and gives you greater peace of mind.

What are spy trackers?

Companies often include an email tracker in newsletters and other marketing material they send you. 

This is a powerful marketing tool that involves inserting an image into an email in the form of a remote image URL. When you open a message containing a tracker, the linked image is loaded from the source server, and sensitive information can be sent back to the sender. This can include:

  • Whether the email containing the tracker has been opened
  • Date and time of opening
  • Device type and operating system
  • In some cases, even your IP address and geographic location

This information can then be collected and used to profile you and target you with personalized ads. 

Some email trackers are almost invisible — they come in the form of small transparent images that are solely used to collect additional information about you.

Infographic showing how email trackers work
(new window)

How Proton Mail protects you

If you open an email containing trackers, we will remove them from the email and notify you. Just look for a small tracker icon on the email. Our enhanced tracking protection feature is enabled by default for all users.

Email tracker icon showing the number of emails blocked
(new window)

Click on the tracker icon to find out more about the trackers that were blocked. 

Modal showing the number of email trackers blocked
(new window)

We also download other remote images on your behalf using a proxy with a generic IP address and geo-location, thus hiding your personal information.

This feature is enabled by default. To disable it, click Settings → Go to settings → Proton Mail → Email privacy and turn the Block email tracking switch off.

Block email tracking switch turned off

If Proton can intercept remote images inside my email, does it mean Proton actually reads my emails?

We check for remote image URLs client-side to ensure they are viewed through our proxy. No message content aside from the URLs themselves is visible to Proton.

Learn more about end-to end-encryption when using Proton Mail(new window)

Should I still prevent remote content from loading automatically?

It is safe to automatically load remote content when email tracking is blocked. This allows you to enjoy the extra context provided by images, while staying safe from trackers.

Note: This is now the default setting. But if you’ve disabled it, you can re-enable it again by following these steps:

Sign in to Proton Mail at mail.proton.me(new window) and click Settings → Go to settings → Proton Mail → Email privacy. Enable the Auto show remote images switch.

Please note this feature is not synced across Proton apps, so you’ll still need to set it up separately on each of your devices.

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