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Posts Tagged ‘read receipt’

How do you know if someone has read your email message?

Friday, July 26th, 2013

Has your recipient actually read that email that you sent to him or her?

Has anyone else been reading the email messages that you sent or which are saved in your online email folders?

We are often asked how customers can verify if an email that has been sent has actually been read or if they can detect if messages have been covertly read (e.g. by the NSA).  The quick answer is that:

  1. With respect to your recipients reading your emails, you generally cannot ever know unless you plan on it ahead of time or use a system that includes read tracking as a feature.
  2. With respect to your ISP or the government reading emails, you cannot ever know.  All you can do is implement encrptions mechanisms to prevent them from reading the messages altogether.

In this article, we will discuss what measures you can take and how effective they are for determining if an email message has been read — the simplest and most generally available methods are the least reliable.

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Has Your Email Been Read? Read Receipts and Web Bugs

Tuesday, May 10th, 2011

Customers often ask how they can know if a message has been read by a specific recipient.  Typically, this is done by requesting a “Read Receipt” when sending the message; however, read receipts are not reliable.  Spammers use techniques such as HTML “web bug” tracking to see if you have read an email message and thus if your email address is valid and ripe for more spamming; this is also not reliable. LuxSci’s SecureLine Escrow service includes a 100% reliable Read Receipt function that can be used when it is essential to know if someone has read a message. It also allows for message retraction (removing further access to an email message).

This article goes over these various methods of determining if a message has been read, shows how each works, and discusses the pros and cons of each.

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Protecting Yourself from Email “Web Bugs”

Wednesday, September 30th, 2009

Web Bugs are images in HTML-formatted email messages that, when viewed, tell the sender of the message that you read the message.  This mechanism of obtaining an essentially covert confirmation that (a) your email address is valid, (b) the email got past your filters, and (c) you actually read the message, is pervasively used by Spammers to identify what addresses are reading their messages.

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Reliable Read Receipts with SecureLine Escrow

Tuesday, April 14th, 2009

Read receipt requests are generally an extremely unreliable way to find out if your recipient has read an email messages that you have sent to him/her.

Why? Because

  • Some email programs do not support read receipts, and thus messages viewed with these would never send you a notice that the message was read.
  • Programs that do support read receipts allow the user to respond to them “always”, “never”, or “ask each time” … with “asking each time” being the default.  As a result, users often will decline your request for a receipt that you have read the message.

However, when messages are sent via LuxSci’s SecureLine Escrow encryption service, read receipts are guaranteed to work.

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