Jul 11, 2013 Beware of Strangers Bearing GIFs
It’s like one of those jokes: In the email you receive, images can look at you!
When you download an image that’s part of an HTML email, the sender can find out that your email account is active, that you’re willing to download images, and even where you are located physically (via your IP address). If the sender is a spammer, then they just hit the jackpot.
Does this mean you have to return to the dull days of reading text-only email? Not quite. If the sender is someone legitimate and known to you, there is hardly any risk in downloading images.
Just make sure that your email program is set to not download all images from all senders automatically. Many email programs can make exceptions for the senders in your address book, or on a Safe Senders list that you create.