PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Chances are you’ve opened dozens of emails today – but what you may not know is there are people who already know this, and what they do with that information may surprise you.
Call 12 for Action has learned there are programs out there that allow companies to send you emails and find out not only that you opened it – but even where you were when you did.
Bob Johnson is looking for a job, and when he emails out his resume he uses tracking software to see if the person he sent it to actually opened it.
“I know that my resume has gone where I sent it. I know how many times its been opened. If an email has been opened six times, I know there maybe some interest and maybe I’ll get a call,” he said.
Call 12 for Action did some searching online, and found numerous companies offering email tracking for free.
“When someone is tracking emails on you, they can find out a lot of information about when you read the email, how long you were reading it, where you were geo-located,” said cyber security expert Gary Miliefsky.
The programs can also show what kind of computer you’re using, if you clicked any available hyperlinks, and even if you forwarded the email to others.
“Besides marketers, anyone can see if you’ve opened an email. This can be a collection agency, an attorney, your dentist, your doctor – it could be anyone,” Miliefsky added.
There are also ways to avoid having your email tracked. You can read your emails in text-only mode so it doesn’t automatically download tracker images and attachments.