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Frequently Asked Questions

Why am I getting returned e-mails I know I didn't send?

 

This is called "E-mail Spoofing".

This can be done by either a virus finding an email address on the internet and then using that address to look like it's coming from that person. Or it could be done maliciously by anyone. In most cases it is untraceable or nearly impossible to find out who's doing it.

E-mail spoofing is the forgery of an e-mail header (or e-mail address) so that the message appears to have originated from someone or somewhere other than the actual source. Distributors of spam often use spoofing in an attempt to get recipients to open, and possibly even respond to, their solicitations.

Although most spoofed e-mail falls into the "nuisance" category and requires little action other than deletion, the more malicious varieties can cause serious problems and security risks. For example, spoofed e-mail may purport to be from someone in a position of authority, asking for sensitive data, such as passwords, credit card numbers, or other personal information -- any of which can be used for a variety of criminal purposes.

The best thing to do if you receive an e-mail that claims to be from a reputable company and they are requesting sensitive information, is to call that company and verify that they are really the ones requesting the information.


Here are some steps you can take to reduce or eliminate "spoofing":

1. Install an anti-virus application. If you already have one installed, make sure it is up-to-date. 2. Scan you computer for viruses.

If your computer is free from viruses:

1. Change your e-mail address. Changing your email address will eliminate not only email "spoofing" but spam as well. Be cautious about using your email address online. Many forms on the Internet are where spoofers and spammers get their email address lists.
2. Delete them as you get them.
3. If you have received a "spoofed" email which is malicious or a security risk, forward the message to support@webmonger.net for investigation.


Definition Continued:

E-mail spoofing is the forgery of an e-mail header (or e-mail address) so that the message appears to have originated from someone or somewhere other than the actual source. Distributors of spam often use spoofing in an attempt to get recipients to open, and possibly even respond to, their solicitations.

E-mail spoofing is possible because Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP), the main protocol used in sending e-mail, does not include an authentication mechanism. To send spoofed e-mail, senders insert commands in headers that will alter message information. It is possible to send a message that appears to be from anyone, anywhere, saying whatever the sender wants it to say. Thus, someone could send spoofed e-mail that appears to be from you with a message that you didn't write.

Although most spoofed e-mail falls into the "nuisance" category and requires little action other than deletion, the more malicious varieties can cause serious problems and security risks. For example, spoofed e-mail may purport to be from someone in a position of authority, asking for sensitive data, such as passwords, credit card numbers, or other personal information -- any of which can be used for a variety of criminal purposes.

!SECURITY TIP!
The best thing to do if you receive an e-mail that claims to be from a reputable company and they are requesting sensitive information, is to call that company and verify that they are really the ones requesting the information.

 



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