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Topics Map > University of Chicago > IT Services > Accounts, Identity, & Security > Security
Email - Read Full Email Headers
This article explains how to view and understand email headers in order to verify the true originating address of the message.
Many email messages display forged email addresses in the headers, so that the "From" line appears to be a uchicago.edu address, although it actually originated from an off-campus source. This is common with emails that are virus-infected, spam, or phishing. To see the true origin of the message display the full headers of the email.
Forwarding Email Headers Via Outlook
Outlook users can easily forward headers by emailing the email of concern as an attachment to preserve delivery header information, which is very useful for effectively blocking malicious emails. To do so, you simply have to press[Ctrl-alt-F] on your keyboard while in the message. This will open up a new email message, and the malicious email will be included as an attachment, which now can be sent to IT Security for review.
Displaying Full Email Headers
For step-by-step instructions to view email headers for most popular email applications please refer to these online sources:
- Google's support site for Gmail, Outlook, Apple Mail and other mail clients
- Microsoft Outlook
Understanding Email Headers
Email headers include tracking information that can be used to see some or all of the mail servers traversed by that message. Specifically the Received headers list in reverse chronological order the servers used. Some aspects of the headers can be spoofed and in general interpreting the headers require significant technical background. Useful information and tools: