New setting for downloading externally hosted images in e-mails

In order to best protect our mailbox.org customers, externally hosted images that are linked up in e-mails, such as newsletters, will normally not be downloaded and displayed automatically in the Webmail interface. This is because oftentimes, these kinds of images are also being used for tracking the recipient's reading behavior and topic interest.

If they get a message by a sender they trust, users can easily enable the display of any external images while viewing that e-mail. Further, it is also possible to trigger the automatic download and display of externally linked images for particular senders or domains. To do this, click on the cogwheel symbol in the upper-right corner of your Webmail window to access “Settings” and then click on “Security” to see the relevant options. Many will find this to be a useful feature, especially for any wanted communications that are recurring, such as product updates or newsletters.

Feedback received by our customer support team suggests that even though there is the tracking issue, some of our users would prefer to have externally hosted images in their e-mails downloaded automatically, regardless of the sender or domain where these are hosted. This is now possible on the same screen (go to “Settings” → “Security”) by checking the box that says „Allow pre-loading of externally linked images“ (see screen snapshot).

Please be aware that by enabling this feature without specifying any restrictions regarding the permitted domains or senders, the Webmail client will automatically download all images in all e-mails.

It is important to understand that this will also include images that form part of any spam or phishing e-mails you might receive. As a consequence, not restricting this feature will make it harder for you to detect and avoid malicious e-mails. For this reason, the feature is disabled by default. If a user wants to enable it, they need to do so manually.