I Visited a Site and Received E-mail Without Having to Register: How to Block?

You enter an online store, only gives a look at a certain product, and exits. Times later, you receive an e-mail that the same store with a link to continue the purchase. Many times, the message comes up with your name. There’s just one problem: you are not registered there and would not authorise the sending of marketing emails.

If it is not authorized, it is SPAM. So, why is it that every time most online stores and service companies rely on this practice? For a simple reason: apparently, this kind of e-mail even makes many visitors return to the site and finalize the purchase, especially if the message you bring some kind of discount or promotion.

But, if you are a person that takes their privacy seriously, will definitely worry about that, after all, how do these shops find your e-mail address and even your name if not you have to register there, or, if you have not logged in when you accessed the site?

As online stores where to find my e-mail? The plague of cookie pools

The trick is in a questionable tracing mechanism. Unless very rare exceptions, every time you sign in to a site, it leaves it in your browser a small file called a cookie. They are useful: thanks to the cookies, you can enter multiple times on a given site (such as a social network) without having to log into each access, for example.

So far, so good. The problem is that, today, there are marketing tools to share cookies. So, if you have register in any online store or website of the provider of digital services, the cookies resulting from your access may be shared with other companies through these tools. Basically, it is as well that the sites in which you do not have to register find your data, and you send e-mails after a access.

In my conception, this is an invasion of privacy online. Sometimes I get in an e-commerce site only to see the price or figure out the characteristics of a product. It’s horrible to receive an e-mail after that. It is as if they were all the time watching over me.

The name assigned to these systems of data sharing is the cookie pool , and they usually make part of the services of e-mail retargeting or remarketing. There are several of them. In Brazil, the most well-known, by what I have seen, are the ShopBack (or ShopTarget) and the CartStack.

If you pay attention, you’ll discover that, typically, the majority of the e-mails of brazilian companies sent after visits to a virtual store or web site services comes from companies like these.

How to block e-mails from ShopBack, ShopTarget and the like?

From the legal point of view, the subject is complex because of the lack of specific legislation. Not to mention that there are loopholes obtained by means of the acceptance of the terms of use often obscure or confused.

The websites of the companies of the cookie pool can even have a page for descadastro (opt-out) of your e-mail. But I already tried to do this on ShopBack and it didn’t work: the unwanted e-mails continued to come. So, the best tactic may be to you even try to protect against this “plague”.

My first suggestion is: use the incognito mode of your browser. Whenever you go to search prices, airline tickets, financial services and so on, do so from an incognito window (or private browsing, InPrivate window, anyway). In incognito mode, the browser will not save cookies and site data, making you not to be identified for these campaigns by e-mail.

Only that you can simply forget to open an incognito window, so here goes another suggestion: lock the tracking. I tried to do it without having to install extensions or plugins. The method that worked was the following (for Chrome and Firefox on Windows):

Google Chrome: type chrome://settings/content/javascript and in the page that opens, go to Block and Add. There, enter the following addresses (all preceded by a [*.]):

  • [*.]cartstack.with.br
  • [*.]shopback.with.br
  • [*.]shopconvert.with.br
  • [*.]shoptarget.with.br
  • [*.]shoptarget.net
  • [*.]shoppush.with.br
  • [*.]smartbmc.with.br

You can also go to chrome://settings/content/cookies and add these same addresses in the Block.

These are the addresses that I have identified. If you receive an e-mail with a different address, simply return to this page in Chrome and add it to the list of locks.

Mozilla Firefox: open the menu of Firefox (to the right of the address bar), go to Options / Privacy and Security. In content Blocking, go to the third-party Cookies and turn on the option Trackers.

I tried to stop receiving such e-mails in various ways, but these were the settings that virtually ended the problem here. Should work for you also .

I Visited a Site and Received E-mail Without Having to Register How to Block 1

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