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How To Trace “Anonymous” Email – Computer support

The good news is that every email message contains unique information (like a fingerprint), making it possible to trace it…with a little research. Here’s how to do it:

1) Get The Header Information
Virtually all email programs provide access to the header showing exactly where and when the email originated. Ignore the “From” and “Return-Path” lines – they can be very easily forged.

1) Identify The Last “Received” Address
The “Received” line closest to the email body in the header reflects the first leg of the email journey with the source IP address (looking something like this – 131.247.112.23)

The good news is that every email message contains unique information (like a fingerprint), making it possible to trace it…with a little research. Here’s how to do it:

1) Get The Header Information
Virtually all email programs provide access to the header showing exactly where and when the email originated. Ignore the “From” and “Return-Path” lines – they can be very easily forged.

1) Identify The Last “Received” Address
The “Received” line closest to the email body in the header reflects the first leg of the email journey with the source IP address (looking something like this – 131.247.112.23)

2) Research The Source IP Address
Find the “owner” of the IP address through the American Registry for Internet Numbers athttp://www.arin.net/. The “Tech Name and Number” will provide you with the administrator’s contact information.

3) Query the Global Domain Name Network (DNS)
A DNS “nslookup search” will provide specific information about the IP address and can be performed through one of many private firms (Google “DNS search firms”).

4) Contact The Appropriate Authority
Depending on the nature of the message, you should consider contacting your attorney or the appropriate enforcement agency to handle the situation. It could also be helpful to contact the network administrator to discuss your situation.

Tracing e-mail can be done; it just requires some knowledge and the means to apply it. For help on tracing an e-mail, contact us today at 626-737-2976

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