|Gleaning Information to Report Email Abuse|
By: Rod Trent
Posted On: 10/20/2003
E-mail abuse takes many forms, from unsolicited commercial messages and advertisements, to harassment, profanity, adult content, and others. Any email you did not ask for, or sign-up to receive should be considered unsolicited.
There are a few steps to gleaning important bits of information from the unsolicited email.
- Viewing the e-mail header - in your email client, there should be an option for viewing the header of the email. The header contains is a list of the computer servers that carried the e-mail on its journey to your mailbox.
For example, with Microsoft Outlook, you can view the header by opening the message and clicking on View | Options.
NOTE: Once you have viewed the email header, you may want to keep a saved copy of it for future reference. Copy and paste the information into a text file to save it. Use Notepad to create a text file and copy the header into. Save the text file somewhere on your computer where you can easily find it.
- Locating the IP address - Email headers are usually read from the bottom to the top. Look for the word Received, and then start working your way up the header (line by line) until you find the first IP address.
- Looking up the IP address - After you hae located the IP address, go to http://www.arin.net/whois/index.html and in the Search box type the IP address you found, and then click Submit Query. You will receive results similar the following:
OrgName: Road Runner
Address: 13241 Woodland Park Road
NetRange: 126.96.36.199 - 188.8.131.52
NetType: Direct Allocation
Comment: ADDRESSES WITHIN THIS BLOCK ARE NON-PORTABLE
TechName: ServiceCo LLC
OrgTechName: IP Tech
NOTE: Some senders of unwanted email try their best to keep you from being recognized. They will use mechanisms to hide their proper IP address and originating information.