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Checking Your Email Headers

One of the common tricks of email virii is to 'spoof' the return address of the virus-infected email to make it look like it comes from a trusted source. The virus does this by pulling an address from the address book on the infected computer and using it in the From: field. One especially nasty virus uses the domain name from the recipient's address and spoofs the return address to make it appear that the email is coming from the staff at the ISP.

If you want to know where an email actually originated, you must look at the header information, not the return address. Here are some links to help you find the header information in your email:
  1. Indra's Net - Displaying and Forwarding Full Headers
  2. Information Technology Issues Management - Viewing mail header details for various mail clients
  3. Tulane University Technology Center - Display Headers
  4. WPI Helpdesk - Email headers
If you subscribe to our Spam and Virus filtering, and are in the Message Center, open the email and click link "Show Header" near the top left side, to view the Email's header information. See the Filter Service Information Page for more detail.

If you are in the HAL-PC Web Mail, look over to the right of the "From" area (gray colored area) and you will see three tiny items (icons). Hold your mouse over the top one and it should say "Full Headers". Click that icon.