How To Verify the Source of an Email

If you are ever in doubt whether an email you received originated from the place it claims to be from, try this: verify the information by reading the full headers of an email.

Email headers (also called “full headers“) are the details that show the path the message took to reach your inbox. Details such as dates, times, mail servers it passed through and even the originating email address are included.

I am sure you have seen questionable emails that claim to come from the MIT Email Team or a System Administration team in IS&T. You have also likely received many emails that claim to come from a business, such as Fed Ex or a bank. Sometimes they can really fool you; even the “from” address makes it look like these emails are legitimate.

But wait! Before clicking on any links within these emails or replying to the sender, check the header. This article shows you how easy it is to find out who the real sender of an email is by reading the information contained within the header.


About MIT
IT Security Awareness Consultant and Communications Specialist at MIT

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