Some Subscribers with strict security settings, such as those with .edu or .gov domains, might generate automatic opens or clicks when you email them.
Unfortunately, this is completely controlled on the receiver's end, and there isn't much senders can do to change it.
Why does this happen?
For strict domains that belong to a business or organization, they want to be sure and keep their employees/members safe from any malicious emails. Often, they don't want their users to be receiving external mail that doesn't come from within the organization. Since large organizations (schools, hospitals, governments, etc.) can often be the target of malicious emails, they usually have very tight security.
One of these security methods is to have all links and images checked by a spam filter to be sure they're safe before placing the message in the user's inbox. Opens are tracked when images in an email are loaded, which is why you might see false opens if the Subscriber has all images automatically loaded.
How can I tell which Subscribers are auto-clicking my links?
If you think Subscribers might be automatically clicking your links, you can be sure by adding a "hidden" link to your message, and see who clicks it. An example of a hidden link would be a link where the text color matches the background, or a link on a comma that would be hard for a human to know is there. You can tag anyone who clicks this hidden link and know that the Subscriber has automatic link clicking enabled.
How can I prevent automatic clicks and opens in the future?
If you have an audience that commonly uses strict domains (such as .edu, .gov, etc.), we recommend asking them to provide their personal address when they sign up. If you use online Forms to collect Subscribers, you could add text there that suggests Subscribers use their personal address instead of their business address.
Here are a few other steps you can take to prevent automatic clicks and opens:
Only use HTTPS links in your message
Pay close attention to your content. Content that looks overly promotional or uses a lot of urgency can cause these filters to automatically click links.
Your sender reputation matters. Keep your list highly clean and engaged in order to prevent automatic bot clicks.
Don't type out full URLs in your message. Instead, add links to text, buttons, or images.
We hope this helps! To learn more about how opens are calculated, and why they aren't always reliable, check out this blog post.