Wednesday, September 29, 2010

How to identify if an email is safe using sender's IP address

(Track an E-mail source and location and sender's IP reputation)

Have you ever wondered how FBI or Police track hackers location? Or were you curious about where the spam email are coming from especially those with unknown senders? You should be! You may not be aware but there is a big possibility that one of the spam emails you got contained virus. Hackers can actually send malicious files to your computer and can run in the background without you noticing them. Most of the times, viruses are spread through emails in a form of attachments.

In this blog, I'll show you how you will be able to trace the sender's IP address and location and how to check the sender's reputation through his IP. Actually, once you subscribe to an internet company, you will be given a unique IP address by your service provider (ISP). To know your unique IP address, you can go to this link Everytime you log on to your email account, the email provider will have a log of your IP address in their servers. 

So out of curiosity, I tried tracing the source of one email in my inbox. If you want to do the same, you can follow the procedures below:

How to know sender's location:
For  Yahoo.
1. Login in to your account
2. Click on inbox
3. Click to select one email
4. Click the action tab on top and select view full header
5. Then find the originating IP address (as shown on the right). Highlight and click copy
6. Open new tab then go to
7. Click IP Lookup from the menu.
8. Paste the IP address in search bar.

9. And you'll get the result like the one shown below:

For Gmail.

1. Login in to your account
2. Click to select one email
3. Click the drop-down arrow beside "reply"
4. Then click on "Show original"

5. Select and copy the IP address.
6. Open new tab then go to
7. You may use google earth to see the location. Just type in the latitude & longitude location in the search field.

See? Now you know where the sender can be found. However, knowing the originating IP's location is not enough. Of course you wouldn't want to open an email which you think might be virus infected. So, if you are unsure whether to open or not to open an email, I recommend that you check if the sender's IP address belongs to the list of blacklisted IP addresses.

How to identify sender's reputation through IP address:

You can do so by clicking on this link
Just put the IP address and click on Lookup and you'll see whether the IP is blacklisted or not. 

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