Nearly two thirds of Brits are unaware that their webmail provider may be scanning their personal emails for advertising purposes, says GMX.

The webmail firm's 'Attitudes to email' study revealed that over half (56 percent) are concerned by the practice, and the same percentage admitted they wanted to opt out of having their emails scanned.

Furthermore a quarter said whether they could opt out of having their email scanned would affect their choice of webmail provider.

When it comes to children's email accounts, 48 percent said the practice should be banned for children's email accounts.

Eva Heil, Managing Director, GMX, said: "Many of our competitors continue to use private email content in the body of emails to tailor advertising to the individual user.

"With public awareness of this practice still low, we believe it is important that every user is at least informed about the usage of private email communication for tailoring advertising".

See also: 40% of UK webmail users reject targetted ads