Being bugged? YES, I am. + UPDATE: A Solution!

***Update: A Solution!*** Twitter is a magical place. Within 1 hour of posting this article, I got hooked up with @skNepal, the genius behind The Lacuna Blog and @timbrookes of, and got an explanation of how to snip away Yesware’s power!

I’m a newb when it comes to the Mac Terminal, but editing the Host files was explained so clearly, I fixed it immediately. Kudos to these two awesome fellas for putting solutions online for us to find! Thanks, y’all!

“Hey, check that email I sent you.”

“Ok… why?”

“Because I can see that you opened it!”

This wasn’t some conversation between an NSA agent and myself—it took place, a few feet away from me, from an unnamed non-government agent who stumbled upon a free Google Chrome extension called Yesware. Self-billed as “a service that helps salespeople close deals faster”, Yesware follows the time-honored spam/mass-emailer tradition of inserting a tiny invisible pixel into the email of users; then, it allows the user to look at stats of “who opened your email, where they opened it, when and what device they used to read it”.

Here’s the problem—Yesware allows someone to track your email reading habits. If you’re receiving the email, you don’t know anything. And there’s no opt-in/opt-out option; the moment the email is up on your screen, your tracker knows it. And knows where, and when, and on what device.

Did I mention this is for free? Cool if you want to know more about the people who are reading your emails; gross if you believe it’s your right to maintain the smallest bit of privacy.

I spent quite a while looking around online for solutions for blocking this program, with this site giving the best information; however, their suggestion (to block on Chrome’s content settings) was unsuccessful for me, and AdBlock doesn’t seem to have anything written about removing yourself from the system. I’m still searching, but if anyone has solutions to “clear your name”, I’d be glad to climb to the top of a mountain and holler your name to the reverberate hills.

Only redeeming part of this story—at least we know the people at Yesware have some sort of privacy standard:

Good for the goose; bad for the gander.

Apparently, Yesware doesn’t want to publish their email addresses. You know… privacy.


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