Are email servers like Gmail, etc. able to capture a computer's serial number on sent emails? If so, are there ways to block that type of sensitive identifiable information from being captured by email servers. Thanks

  • What serial number you refer to? If you mean the MAC of the network adapter see Tracing an email's MAC address (in short: not possible). If you mean the CPU serial number it is not possible either. – Steffen Ullrich Jul 3 '19 at 21:02

No, email servers (and web sites) are not able to capture your computer's serial number. However, there are unique identifiers that can be used to "fingerprint" your browser and uniquely identify you.

There are several mechanisms to do this, most of which can be embedded (sometimes silently) to any web page you visit. Things like local system time (provided client-side), list of fonts installed, browser resolution, and even graphics-rendering fingerprints can be used to uniquely identify your browser.

The EFF has a proof-of-concept called Panopticlick that demonstrates this functionality. When you use this service, you can see whether Panopticlick has seen your specific browser "fingerprint" before. If you're unique, you can theoretically be uniquely tracked.

Howevver, to answer the specific quesiton you asked: no, no one can see your serial number or MAC address on the Internet.

  • Note that while browser based web mail is most common with Gmail users, Gmail does support classic email clients using IMAP and POP. – user10216038 Jul 4 '19 at 16:56

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.