Questions tagged [email]

Related to email protocols, clients, servers, content, and message format.

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227
votes
15answers
37k views

Tracing the location of a mobile IP from an email

I'm a TV scriptwriter - and not hugely tech-savvy, so please bear with me... If the police have an email, sent by a suspect over a 3G or 4G network, could they use the IP address (since they know ...
189
votes
3answers
35k views

Don't understand how my mum's Gmail account was hacked

My mum (on Gmail, using Chrome) received an email from a friend's Hotmail address. She opened the email (very obviously a phishing email) and clicked a link in it. This opened a webpage with loads of ...
147
votes
8answers
23k views

How can PayPal spoof emails so easily to say it comes from someone else?

When I receive a payment in PayPal, it sends me an email about it (pictured below). The problem is that the email is shown to be coming from the money sender's email address and not from PayPal itself,...
116
votes
5answers
18k views

Why do phishing e-mails use faked e-mail addresses instead of the real one?

I read that you can write anything into the From: field of an e-mail. If that is true, then why are phishing e-mails trying to trick me with look-a-like addresses like service@amaz0n.com instead of ...
116
votes
4answers
57k views

What are the security reasons for disallowing the plus sign in email addresses?

My question is based on this tweet after I commented about forbidding + symbols in email addresses. The tweet says, "This is a measure we've taken for security reasons." This can be frustrating and ...
113
votes
7answers
26k views

Someone is using my (or has the same) email

I just got a letter from court saying I made 49 threats to someone I had a problem with three years ago. This person presents "my emails" as evidence. I went through all my emails, and I haven't found ...
111
votes
10answers
30k views

Why is it dangerous to open a suspicious email?

I would like to know why is it considered to be dangerous to open an email from an unknown source? I am using Gmail and I thought it's only unsafe to download an attachment and run it. The first ...
102
votes
5answers
62k views

Is sending password to user email secure?

How secure is sending passwords through email to a user, since email isn't secured by HTTPS. What is the best way to secure it? Should i use encryption?
100
votes
8answers
22k views

Can someone read my E-Mail if I lose ownership of my domain?

Let's assume I have a server set up with an email address like me@mydomain.tld. Now I have distributed my business card with the e-mail address to all people all over the world and they keep sending ...
93
votes
10answers
18k views

Unsubscribe safely

I have heard that is better to never click to any link in an email. Is it a bad idea to click to a unsubscribe link? What is the best way to unsubscribe to undesired mails?
89
votes
5answers
28k views

Why would someone open a Netflix account using my Gmail address?

This is something that happened to me a few months ago. I don't know if it is a hack attempt, although I can't think of any way that there could be any danger or any personal information gained. I ...
87
votes
1answer
10k views

Isn't the BBC being extremely irresponsible in describing how to authenticate an account-related email?

On this webpage, the BBC says: I’ve received a ‘Changes to your BBC account’ email claiming to be from the BBC – is this a genuine email? At the end of September 2016, we upgraded our ‘BBC iD’ ...
86
votes
4answers
14k views

Is using 'dot' and 'at' in email addresses in public text still useful?

When entering your email address publicly, a practice is to replace . with text dot and @ with text at. I assume that the reasoning is that this way automatic email-collector robots won't match your ...
81
votes
5answers
14k views

Email Account under attack (really) - anything I can do?

Over the last week, there is a constant barrage of authentication failures to my email account from a variety of ip addresses - usually in blocks of exactly 575 attempts. My password is as strong as ...
75
votes
12answers
13k views

Is there any definitive way to tell if an email is a phishing attempt?

Is there any definitive way to tell if an email is a phishing attempt? What cues should the "average computer" user employ to detect a phishing email?
74
votes
12answers
24k views

Is Google overreaching by forcing me to use TLS?

Gmail was recently changed to require HTTPS for everyone, whether they want to use it or not. While I realize that HTTPS is more secure, what if one doesn't care about security for certain accounts? ...
73
votes
6answers
60k views

How does PGP differ from S/MIME?

Is S/MIME an abstracted system for general MIME type encryption, whereas PGP is more for email? Why would I want to choose one over the other, or can I use both at the same time?
70
votes
6answers
22k views

Is gmail-to-gmail still insecure? Why?

I have always heard that email is an insecure method of communication; I assume this has something to do with the email protocol itself. But when sending an email from one gmail account to another, ...
68
votes
2answers
11k views

What is the purpose of these weird non-spam emails?

A mail made it through the spam filter and i wonder what the purpose is. It is not spam. Tracking? But how? Who? and why? In the source code there are this weird passages like ... =EA=85=9F =EA=8F=...
65
votes
6answers
11k views

What should a verification email consist of?

Right now I'm generating a 25 character string stored in the database that can only have a 1 time use and expires 30 minutes after user registration. http://example.com/security/activate/...
65
votes
5answers
14k views

My email address is being used to enroll for online services. Should I be concerned?

Just before Christmas I received the following message in one of my GMail accounts: Sign-in attempt was blocked ********@gmail.com [redacted by me] Someone just used your password to try to ...
64
votes
3answers
16k views

Why do email programs block xml files?

A colleague sent a .xml file to me earlier today, which was blocked by Outlook. As we were discussing the workaround (put it in a .zip), we got to wondering why .xml files are blocked. My colleague ...
62
votes
17answers
19k views

Alternative to sending password over mail?

Recently I've started working as a contractor for a company, which requires me to often log in to different b2b services. The way I receive the login data is usually over email in plain text. My gut ...
61
votes
3answers
7k views

Merchant sent email to me with all my Credit Card info

Is there some place for a consumer to file a complaint concerning improper use of credit card information? I gave my credit card to a towing company and they sent me a receipt via email with all of ...
58
votes
11answers
11k views

Why would a spammer try to get a (normal) image of mine?

Yesterday I found a spam mail in my inbox. I inspected it in order to find out why DSpam and SpamAssasin failed. You can find the raw German mail here, here's a translation: Good Morning. We got to ...
58
votes
4answers
18k views

How did I get this email without a “To” field?

I got an empty email in my language (Hebrew) with only a title that can be translated to I am still waiting for your feedback (original: עדיין מחכה למשוב שלך) Since my gmail handle multiple accounts (...
57
votes
7answers
16k views

Email received regarding Security flaw in website

I received an email to techsupport@websitename.com (pretty generic email) saying that there was a security flaw in my website etc. etc My initial reaction was that this was a scam. (How/why did they ...
57
votes
6answers
12k views

Why do security experts like Snowden use email services like Lavabit and Hushmail rather than self-hosted email?

Why would anyone like Edward Snowden rely on 3rd party services like Lavabit or Hushmail to host his email? I mean it's very easy to set up a self-hosted email server. What you need: Rent VPS (even ...
54
votes
4answers
9k views

Are non-English speakers better protected from (international) phishing?

After I received dozen of spam mails over the last year with my thrashmail (used for "You must log in once to check out this product.."-Sites, etc.) I noticed they were mostly translated (if they are ...
54
votes
2answers
10k views

How do US government agencies open their email attachments?

I suppose the FBI receives email with attachments, like any other government agency: documents, resumes/CVs, etc. I also suppose they are very careful not to get infected, more than the average user, ...
50
votes
5answers
8k views

Why is end-to-end encryption still not default in mails?

I am not a cryptographer. Maybe that is why I don't see the issues with integrating PGP into SMTP. In my head: Lea requests the server of Luke's domain jedi.com to tell her the public key of luke@...
50
votes
5answers
6k views

What actions should I, as an end user, take in response to EFAIL?

There's a lot of talk about EFAIL: The EFAIL attacks exploit vulnerabilities in the OpenPGP and S/MIME standards to reveal the plaintext of encrypted emails. In a nutshell, EFAIL abuses active ...
46
votes
3answers
9k views

Paypal sent an email addressing me with one of my old passwords as my name

I got this email from service@intl.paypal.com, with the title: Your account has been limited until we hear from you. I think this is a scam / spoof email because I don't see any notification in my ...
45
votes
8answers
9k views

Why do email server/clients block executable attachments?

If I send an email with an .exe attachment to an Outlook recipient, the email client blocks the attachment and the recipient has no way of overriding this security setting (short of making certain ...
44
votes
2answers
20k views

What malicious things can happen when clicking on links in email?

I've received a spam from one of my friends (well I'm sure he didn't send it). so there's this link, and i'd thought what exactly would be the implications of clicking the link (i've not clicked it ...
43
votes
8answers
9k views

Is it ever safe to open a suspicious HTML file (e.g. email attachment)?

If I receive an email that has an attachment called something like safe-link.html would it ever be safe to open this file? Clearly, HTML files may have malicious scripts embedded that could run when ...
43
votes
6answers
5k views

Copying the email address to a forgotten password page

I am responsible for a website and I am questioning the logic of some 'Industry standard' policies that I have been asked to comply with. When a user logs into the website, they get a message to tell ...
41
votes
10answers
3k views

Cryptography that looks like ordinary email

I would like to stay out of the automatic filters in place by security agencies and not be accidentally placed on a no-fly list or such. Say I'm having a political debate with a friend about democracy ...
39
votes
2answers
11k views

How do email clients “send later” without storing a password?

Email clients like Spark for macOS have a feature where a user can send an email later, at any given time, even when the computer is turned off. An SMTP server needs a password based authentication, ...
39
votes
3answers
10k views

How long should an e-mail address confirmation link last and why must it expire at all?

After a user registers an e-mail is sent to them with a link they must click on to activate the account. I know other sites have a limit on the amount of time the user has to click the link, else the ...
38
votes
12answers
16k views

How can I prove that a certain email was not sent to my account? [closed]

Someone is claiming to have sent me an email to my Hotmail account. I never received this email. They have forged an Outlook email showing the date and time that it was sent. How can I prove that ...
38
votes
4answers
3k views

If email is insecure, why do we use it for password resets?

I found myself telling a coworker today "Email is insecure, that's why we developed our secure report application." But then it struck me, Why is email considered insecure? If it is so insecure, why ...
37
votes
6answers
47k views

How do I safely inspect a suspicious email attachment?

I received a pretty blatantly spammy email to my Gmail account. Attached to the email is a supposed HTML file. My first hunch was that it was probably one of the following: A nasty executable file ...
37
votes
4answers
69k views

How (in)secure is POP/IMAP/SMTP

I'm making a few assumptions about basic email security, and I want to confirm or clarify some of these points to make sure I understand the big picture. Please correct me where I'm mistaken: The ...
36
votes
5answers
131k views

How to find out the IP address of email sender in Gmail

Gmail doesn't give the IP address of the sender in its mail headers for security reasons. I'd like to know whether there is some other way of getting the IP address of the sender. Since Gmail ...
35
votes
2answers
4k views

Is email less secure than voicemail, snail mail, or internet portals for transferring sensitive information?

Where I am in the US, health care providers refuse to send anything through email (e.g. even something as trivial as an appointment reminder). Often they claim that email is not secure. Instead they ...
34
votes
4answers
20k views

What steps do Gmail, Yahoo! Mail, and Hotmail take to prevent eavesdropping on email?

I would like to ask what happens when an email is sent from gmail, yahoo or hotmail public web email services? I don't understand email protocols in details, but as far as I know email traffic is ...
34
votes
4answers
4k views

Why is it a bad idea for management to have constant access to every employee's inbox?

This was prompted by my CEO asking to get permanent access to everyone's inbox. He wants for his email client to be configured so that as well as his own email account, he can see the contents/...
33
votes
6answers
10k views

What real world benefits does PGP have over sending email with SSL/TLS such as with HTTPS?

I've been learning about PGP, and I asked myself, "Why?" For example, if I'm using https://mail.google.com, then what benefit would adding PGP offer that would justify it being used? I can ...
33
votes
2answers
3k views

Why does PGP work with the CC field in e-mails?

I was wondering how PGP works with a CC. In my understanding, if I send an e-mail to foo@example.com and use baz@example.org in the CC, Enigmail would have to encrypt the e-mail once for every user ...

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