When I send a text message and/or an email, with or without location services turned on, what information is available to the recipient of that message if they know how to read the data behind the original message? IE: Location, my device, the service I use, etc.

I ask because I would like to know what information I am exposing by sending a message from my phone. (I understand that the actual text of an SMS message itself is completely unsecure.)

  • text message or email? These are two completely different technologies which would both warrant an own question. – Philipp Feb 13 '14 at 19:26

this would totally depend on the specific application you are using to send the message. A text message is going to expose different information than a message sent through a private app such as 'whatsApp', or 'Skype'.

Typically For messaging apps the end recipient will at least have your cellphone number, time the message was sent, content, and potentially location (depending on the app). Emails contain the IP address which sent the message in their headers. Since you are on mobile though, the IP assigned to your device might not be a great indicator in terms of geolocation. I've seen mobile phones geolocate their IP to a neighboring state.

With the exception of emails, most messaging apps don't let you see the behind the scenes headers (even if you're sniffing the network). Only the app/service provider might have access to that.

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