Keeping Your Email Address Private
To help give your email address a low profile, first enable any features that block email bugs (also known as beacons) . This blocking protection usually takes the form of a block images option in your email settings. When images are displayed in your email, this can be used to send a signal back to a third party server indicating that the message was opened.
If you don’t block images Internet marketers as well as online trackers and profilers will be bale to verify your email account and its active status. This will result in you receiving only more targeted advertising by email. Specific, targeted bugs or beacons can also be embedded in email messages to track your particular reaction to a promotion or other call to action.
Top Tip – If your email address becomes associated with your IP address, this becomes yet another source of information for the detailed profiles being compiled about you by the elements tracking your online activities.
How Public is Your Email Account?
Use the following resources to check how private your email address is. If your email address is no longer private, this may make you more widely know and therefore susceptible to spammers, snoops and hackers.
- A quick and easy check is to simply type your email address in your favorite search engine (usually in double quotes is best, “firstname.lastname@example.org”)
- Reverse email trace services check the email account you enter against public databases (not hacker lists). Try services such as (all free):
Top Tip – Before blindly submitting your email address to these are any other website you must be confident that it is trustworthy and not providing your email address to third parties. If you think about it, what a great way to obtain email addresses. That said, I’m reasonably confident that these longstanding services are legit, but you should always perform your own due diligence.
Is Your Email Provider showing your IP address to email recipients?
- Email Leak Test (IPv4 leak) – you’ll be prompted to send an email to a one-off email address to check your message headers for IP address leaks
Has Your Email Account Been Hacked? Check and Protect Yourself from Future Hacks.
Email hack monitoring services such as these enable you to check for free whether your email account has been part of any password data obtained or leaked by hackers. If you want to monitor your email account for future hacks, most services will charge a monthly subscription fee.
- HaveIBeenPwned (also check out their comprehensive list of recent password hacks)
- Lastpass (Adobe Hack Check)