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Email Headers for AOL Users


Every day, millions of emails are broadcast across the internet. Whether you receive a dozen or hundreds of emails, do you know where these emails are coming from? Can you stop some of the junk email that finds its way into your mailbox? Taking advantage of AOL email search and similar email header tools can help you to manage your inbox better.

Email Header 101

Before you attempt an AOL user lookup, it is important to understand what encompasses an email header. Basically, an email header is information that is part of every email. It includes the details about who sent the email, when the message was sent, how it arrived to its destination, and who received it.

However, you cannot always take the header information at face value. Spammers can falsify some of the information to make it more difficult to trace the email's origins using AOL email search. For example, spammers and scammers can make the header look as though the email was sent from a different account.

How to View the AOL Email Header

Viewing an email header in AOL is very easy to do, and once you have this information, it will actually make it easier to perform an AOL member search. All you need to do is open the email message. At the top you should see the words "Sent from the Internet." Click on "Details" and you will be able to see the full email header.

Understanding What You Are Reading

When you display the header, you will see a lot of information. In some cases, you may see "Received" listed multiple times, which indicates through which servers the email passed.

To see where the email originated from, you will want to look from the first source, which will be the furthest down the list. When you read this last "Received" tag, you will see the ISP domain of the server and the real IP address of the sender, which shows up as the X-Originating-IP. The X-Mailer tag will tell you what email client was used to send the email.

Determining Spam

One of the main reasons to conduct an AOL email lookup is to help you identify spam. In its least offensive form, spam simply clutters up your mailbox with unwanted advertising. However, if spammers are trying to hide their identity from you, chances are they have a much more sinister purpose, and the email could contain viruses, Trojans, spyware, or other nasty computer malware designed to steal your information and make your life miserable.

Thankfully, you can use an AOL member search based upon the information in the email's header to help weed out spammers and report them.

One of the first things to analyze is the return path. Look at the email address to which replies would be sent. Does it look like a real email address, or just a random jumble of letters and numbers? Next, look at the received tags, reading from the bottom up. The received tags should contain the information on how the email was transmitted. If this information is missing, the information included seems to have gaps in it, or there are places where the "sent" and "received" do not line up properly, a spammer could have tried to forge information. If this is the case, chances are that the spammer also used the same ISP you have, or else their spam message would not have transmitted appropriately.

You can also look further at the header for your AOL email lookup. Look at the Message-ID field. The ID should include the name of the server and a unique string. The ID should match the same server from where the purported email address stems. For example, if you are receiving an email from an AOL account, the Message-ID should also indicate an AOL server. However, if the email address states AOL but the server indicates Yahoo, then this email header may be forged.

Being able to recognize spam will make it easier for you to keep your computer safe. Empower yourself with this knowledge to keep spammers and scammers away from your personal information and serenity.



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