If you've ever pondered a strange email address you've seen in your incoming mail, you're not alone. There are many different ways to research email addresses including reverse email lookups. One great place to start is by learning everything you can from the strange email itself by examining the email headers. Email headers are a lot like the envelope of an email; they include information that tells email programs where the message came from and where to deliver it. However, reading email headers can be difficult, and sometimes even finding them can be hard, especially if you use a program like Outlook. Here is some basic information about how email headers work and how to find them using Outlook.
The first step to using email headers is to find them, which is simple and easy if you use the email program Outlook. There are different ways to access email headers, depending on which version of Outlook you use. If you use Outlook 4, 5, or 6 click on the File menu, then choose Properties. From the Properties menu, click on the Details Tab. Click the button that says Message Source, and you've found the email headers. You can also access this information by opening the message in its own window and pressing ctrl + F3. If you're using Outlook 2007, just right-click on the message in your inbox and choose Message Options; this should show you the headers.
Some people may not be sure what an email header is, much less how to read it. This is understandable, as headers are meant to be read by computers, not people. This means that they are not particularly user friendly. However, there are a few important things you can learn from email headers without having to take a college class in SMTP protocol. The most important thing to look for is the lowest line that says "Received: from". This line tells you where the message originated. Look for the approximately ten-digit number that closely follows these words. It should look something like this-123.456.78.90 . This number is the IP address, the unique Internet address of the computer the message originated on. While spammers and Internet savvy individuals might be able to disguise or change the name of the sender, it's much harder to interfere with IP addresses in email Headers. This means that the IP address is traceable, and almost always leads back to the person who sent the message.
So, if you need to find and use email headers, now you have an idea how to get started, especially if you use Outlook. Another great way to research strange email addresses is to use a reverse email address lookup to determine the name and owner of an email address quickly and easily. If you are persistent, you're sure to find the information you need.