By Sharon Hill
I am diligent about managing email. The more professional associations you join, the more signups at websites and the like usually means more email.
As an example, one of our clients belongs to real estate association as an affiliate member to be allowed access to certain information. This client then receives emails targeted to the main group (Realtors) concerning property listings. I opt out when these emails are from a centralized (paid for) source which works for a while. In other cases when the email is coming from a local source, I have contacted the individual directly. I politely make them aware of CAN SPAM law especially when there is no opt out in the email. Some folks are truly unaware of the law and assume everyone on the association list is interested in their emails.
In some cases, it is not so clear and once in awhile, you may receive an email that could be legit or spam, who knows?
Most of the email clients and email browsers allow you to look at the headers. Here is an example from Yahoo!
By right clicking on the message selected but not opened, you will see the drop down menu with View Full Headers at the bottom. Click and you open a dialog box with this type of information. Much of the text is just letters run together (which I removed for this blog) so you must look at the nuggets of information as shown below:
From Western Union Mone=?UTF-8?Q?y_Transfer_=C2=AE?= Fri Jun 11 12:32:32 2010
X-Apparently-To: firstname.lastname@example.org via 188.8.131.52; Fri, 11 Jun 2010 05:42:50 -0700
Received-SPF: none (mta1003.mail.mud.yahoo.com: domain of email@example.com does not designate permitted sender hosts)
Received: from 127.0.0.1 (EHLO edufisica.udea.edu.co) (184.108.40.206)
by mta1003.mail.mud.yahoo.com with SMTP; Fri, 11 Jun 2010 05:42:43 -0700
Received: from edufisica.udea.edu.co (edufisica.udea.edu.co [127.0.0.1])
by edufisica.udea.edu.co (8.14.1/8.14.1) with ESMTP id o5BCWWhd014793;
Fri, 11 Jun 2010 07:32:33 -0500
From: “Western Union Mone=?UTF-8?Q?y_Transfer_=C2=AE?=” <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Thank You
Date: Fri, 11 Jun 2010 08:32:32 -0400
Obviously, this email is not from Western Union. This little trick has helped our company and our clients identify spam emails from valid emails.