How to see if your emails are being tracked in Gmail before opening them

You might not realise it, but there are now email tracking tools that make it easy for people to see when you open an email, what you click, and where you’re located.

“Emails appear no different to your contacts, but you get data when, where, and how a contact interacts with your message,” says a cheery video advertising Bananatag, an email tracking service for Gmail designed for job seekers, advertisers, and those working in PR.

Luckily, there’s a handy new tool called Ugly Email that shows you when your emails in Gmail are being tracked, and it even works before you click anything. With Ugly Email installed, you’ll see a tiny little eye symbol next to any email that’s being tracked by tools like Bananatag, Streak, or Yeswear.

Here’s what it looks like.

Installing Ugly Email is easy.

First, you’ll need to make sure you’re using Google Chrome as your web browser, which you can download for free here. Next, click this link to take you to Ugly Email on the Chrome Web Store, click the “Add to Chrome” button, and you’re all set! You can now rest assured that any email arriving in your Gmail inbox will vetted for tracking tools, and the Ugly Email team promises that it’s “actively working on adding more” email tracking services to alert you to.

Ugly Email just recently showed up on Product Hunt, so if you’re looking for a similar email alert service that’s been around for a while longer, you can always try out PixelBlock, which does the same thing.

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