Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Understanding email headers

Every email that you receive contains some header data along with the viewable message. Most of the email clients, whether they be the online clients like Yahoo or desktop ones like Outlook, hide this header information. They usually make little sense for the average Joe. But, if you are interested and want to dig deeper, the headers reveal some nice nuggets of information.

First, lets talk about how to view an email header information using various clients:
Yahoo: Open an email. There is an option on the right side that says "Full Headers".

Hotmail: Goto Options -> Mail Display Settings -> Message Headers. Then select "Advanced". Now you will start seeing the headers along with each email.

Here are some of the interesting headers:
For those of you who want to explore further, here is the SMTP RFC 2821 and Internet Message Format RFC 2822

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