Google changed the way users see Gmail images. Previously, when some emails come with external links to pictures on their email, Gmail will prompt you if you want to see them. You will not know if the links to the pictures are safe or not.
Now, Gmail serves all images through Google’s image proxy servers and transcodes them before delivery. This means that Google will ensure that the images are safe before you open them for viewing.
How Gmail makes images safe
Some senders try to use externally linked images in harmful ways, but Gmail takes action to ensure that images are loaded safely. Gmail serves all images through Google’s image proxy servers and transcodes them before delivery to protect you in the following ways:
- Senders can’t use image loading to get information like your IP address or location.
- Senders can’t set or read cookies in your browser.
- Gmail checks your images for known viruses or malware.
In some cases, senders may be able to know whether an individual has opened a message with unique image links. As always, Gmail scans every message for suspicious content and if Gmail considers a sender or message potentially suspicious, images won’t be displayed and you’ll be asked whether you want to see the images.
To clarify, you still have the option for Gmail to ask you every time to see the images. It can be found in the settings.