As cybercriminals become more sophisticated, it's becoming increasingly
difficult to identify phishing emails. Phishing emails are designed to look
like legitimate messages from reputable companies or individuals, but they're
actually attempts to steal your personal information, such as passwords or
credit card numbers. One way to protect yourself from phishing emails is to
check email headers for phishing. In this article, we'll explain what email
headers are, how to check them for phishing, and answer some common questions
about this topic.
What Are Email Headers?
Email headers are pieces of information that are attached to every email
message you receive. They contain information about the sender, the recipient,
and the email's route from the sender to the recipient. Email headers can be
accessed in most email clients, including Gmail, Outlook, and Apple Mail. To
access email headers, you'll need to open the message and look for an option
that says "view headers" or "show original."
How to Check Email Headers for Phishing
Now that you know what email headers are, let's talk about how to check them
for phishing. Here are the steps you should follow:
- Open the suspicious email and look for the "view headers" or "show original" option.
- Copy the text of the email headers and paste them into a text editor, such as Notepad or TextEdit.
- Look for any suspicious or unfamiliar email addresses in the "From" or "Reply-To" fields. Cybercriminals often use email addresses that look similar to legitimate ones, but with slight differences, such as using "rn" instead of "m" in "com."
- Look for any misspellings or grammatical errors in the email headers. Phishing emails are often written in poor English or contain obvious mistakes.
- Look for any suspicious links in the email headers. Hover your mouse over the link to see where it leads. If the link looks suspicious, don't click on it.
- Look for any attachments in the email headers. If you weren't expecting an attachment, don't open it. It could contain malware or a virus.
Common Questions About Checking Email Headers for Phishing
Can Email Headers Be Faked?
Yes, email headers can be faked. Cybercriminals can use techniques such as
email spoofing to make an email look like it came from a legitimate sender.
However, checking email headers is still a useful tool in identifying phishing
What Should I Do If I Find a Phishing Email?
If you find a phishing email, don't click on any links or attachments. Delete
the email immediately. If you're not sure if an email is legitimate or not,
contact the sender directly to verify.
Are There Any Tools That Can Help Me Check Email Headers?
Yes, there are several tools available that can help you check email headers
for phishing. Some popular options include DMARC Analyzer, SPF Toolbox, and MX
How Can I Protect Myself from Phishing Emails?
In addition to checking email headers for phishing, there are several other
steps you can take to protect yourself from phishing emails. These include:
- Never click on links or attachments in emails from unknown senders.
- Verify the sender's email address before clicking on any links or attachments.
- Use anti-virus software to protect your computer from malware and viruses.
- Enable two-factor authentication on all your accounts.
- Stay up-to-date on the latest phishing scams by following cybersecurity news sources.
By following these steps, you can help protect yourself from phishing emails
and other types of cyberattacks.