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Privacy when receiving email from strangers


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11 replies to this topic

#1 Kez8

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Posted 08 February 2016 - 05:37 PM

Hi folks,
I've been receiving emails from someone I came across on a forum...
On the one hand he's quite an interesting  "Character "   on the other hand... seems a bit weird and  "iffy "
Chat via email is fine, but I don't want him ending up on my doorstep !
He's living in the USA,  and I'm in the UK....
I have two email addresses,  one is provied by AOL,  which thus, I believe, makes it easy for someone to find out your home address via your IP address..
The other is Internet based service ( I think that is how its refered to ?   ) not attached to my server ?
 Originally I gave him my AOL address, sent him an email, just ~The Once, with that provider..
 but then, thought better of it and switched over to another email provider for our exchange of emails,  one that connects in a way that you cannot be traced ...
We exchanged several emails through my safer email provider....
However, he has tried, on a couple of occassions to
email me again via AOL...
 
.even though, I am no longer writing to him via AOL,
 I have not opened these emails, however,  reason being ~
 A )   I do not want him to trace where I am, exactly, in the UK
and
 B )  I'm wondering if he has one of those facilities that lets him ~Know, when I have opened the message he has sent me.

My question is this...

IF, I send the emails he has sent to my AOL provider, to my ~Other email address, unopened
via ~Forward email
  (  without First  opening it in AOL )
Will he, still, be able to know I have opened the email , even though I have only  opened his email using my other email provder   ?  
Also, is there any way of me being able to find out if he is actually, using a facility which lets him know when I open his emails, in general,  with either email provider    ?

Edited by Queen-Evie, 08 February 2016 - 05:44 PM.
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#2 TsVk!

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Posted 08 February 2016 - 06:46 PM

Something you don't have to be concerned about is him finding your physical address from your IP address. Only your ISP knows that and they are not about to go handing it out to any old Joe Bloggs off the street, you would definitely need to present a badge and probably a warrant to get that information.

 

Email accounts and clients often have "return receipts" settings where you can turn off any response if a return receipt is requested. If you turn this off the request will not be answered.

 

Here is some further reading for you

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Email_tracking

 

:busy:



#3 Smsec

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Posted 09 February 2016 - 12:22 AM

If you're sending and email using a desktop app like AOL or outlook, your IP address will be recorded in the hidden email header sent to the recipient. I don't think that's true if you're using a web browser with a service like Gmail to send email.

 

It's also possible to get someone's IP address by adding an image to the email that's hosted on a web server (not an attachment). When an email is opened, the image is requested from the web server by your browser or email client. in order for the webserver to send the image, it has to get your iP address. Many email clients block images by default unless you click to enable them to be shown. So if he's ever sent you an email with and image embedded in the body (not an attachment} its possible he could get your IP address. There are websites that will give an approximate location given an IP address. Example: http://whatismyipaddress.com/ip-lookup I just checked my IP address using this and it gave a location 2miles (3.3km) from my home. So that's not very close. 

 

In any event, he may not be knowledgeable enough to find your iP address using any of these methods.

 

Forwarding an email normally strips the header of the original email. If you want to investigate this yourself, you can learn how to view email headers here: http://whatismyipaddress.com/ip-lookup 



#4 PeterStevens

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Posted 09 February 2016 - 01:49 AM

Our company started using a IP Tracking service on the website in order to generate more leads.

 

According to them, companies are fair game (they will report the company name, address etc etc), all taken from publicly available sources (it's an IP address lookup), matched to a separate database of companies / people working at those companies (ie: visiting websites, gleaning the company name, contact info etc.). It's 100% legal here in Europe.

 

The one thing they're not allowed to do is give out the IP addresses / physical addresses of private individuals. This must remain private, unless the cop shop askes the ISP for the info for X, Y or Z reason.

 

Personally, my home ISP is located 500km away, and that's what my IP address says.



#5 Kez8

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Posted 09 February 2016 - 07:38 AM

Hey folks,  your swift and detailed answers are very greatly appreciated...  I've got a whole wealth of info on this subject now..

could take out a Ph, d on it !   :bananas:

 

My other concern, if you have the time, is.... How easy, is it ~In general,  for a stranger to get hold of your IP address,

say, via a  forum,  such as this,  or a chat room or whatever  ?



#6 Phantom010

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Posted 09 February 2016 - 10:50 AM

My other concern, if you have the time, is.... How easy, is it ~In general,  for a stranger to get hold of your IP address,

say, via a  forum,  such as this,  or a chat room or whatever  ?

 

As already mentioned by TsVk! in post #2, only your ISP has your home address and personal info. The "public" IP addresses can only give an approximate general location, like your country of origin, and the city you're living in (although rarely accurate), but that's it. To get an ISP to give you personal information, you need to be part of a law enforcement agency and have a warrant. And the only time law enforcement agencies will ask for that information is if they suspect criminal activities.

 

Furthermore, a simple member on a forum cannot see your IP address. Only forum Administrators and/or Moderators can see your "public" IP address.

 

That person can find out if an email has been read, if you've enabled Return Read Notifications in your email client settings. However, even if that is disabled, there are other ways to know. I personally use a service called ReadNotify to avoid frustrating situations where people don't bother answering. At least, with that service, if someone is lying about not receiving your email, you can know. The service works for email clients and even better on Webmail.


Edited by Phantom010, 09 February 2016 - 10:59 AM.


#7 Smsec

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Posted 09 February 2016 - 06:12 PM

Hey folks,  your swift and detailed answers are very greatly appreciated...  I've got a whole wealth of info on this subject now..

could take out a Ph, d on it !   :bananas:

 

My other concern, if you have the time, is.... How easy, is it ~In general,  for a stranger to get hold of your IP address,

say, via a  forum,  such as this,  or a chat room or whatever  ?

 

Due to bug, Skype until recently revealed IP addresses. They just fixed that: http://www.theverge.com/2016/1/22/10813826/skype-hide-ip-address-default-setting

 

If you're really worried about this, you might try a VPN service like Freedome from F-secure. This can help hide your actual IP as the Freedome server IP address will be what is given to web sites etc. There's a free 14 day trial available. 



#8 TsVk!

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Posted 09 February 2016 - 06:17 PM

I would recommend PIA as a VPN service. They keep no logs and their servers are quick... Well known trustworthy VPN. Unlimited devices from your IP address also.

 

https://www.privateinternetaccess.com/



#9 Kez8

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Posted 11 February 2016 - 04:29 AM

I contacted    "Private internet service "   to check out about the extent of  lack privacy I may be, currently exposed to ...

Was particularly concerned that people can get to know within a couple of miles where you live   ( as someone stated on this forum )

The reply to that question I got from   "Private Internet Service " however,  is that it is not possible with IP address details alone ...

I do hope so as, knowing wherabouts I live to within just a mere couple of miles, and with the person, already, having my name details, plus descriptive features of locality.. it wouldn't be so difficult,at all, to find me ...



#10 Smsec

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Posted 11 February 2016 - 08:48 AM

  "Private Internet Service " however,  is that it is not possible with IP address details alone ...

I do hope so as, knowing wherabouts I live to within just a mere couple of miles, and with the person, already, having my name details, plus descriptive features of locality.. it wouldn't be so difficult,at all, to find me ...

IP address geolocation services gather data from web sites where you or others that have had that IP in the past entered location data such as a zip or postal code. Web sites will sell the geolocation services a list of IP addresses that visited along with the zip/postal code information. Since most IP addresess ISPs we receive from our expire from time to time and others get those IPs, these geolocation services can't get precise location. You may want to read this article for more information on IP Geolocation,

How Does an IP Address Give Away Your Location?

 

Just because this is possible doesn't mean he's aware of this or knows how to find your IP address from an email etc. As suggested above, you may want to start using a VPN for privacy.



#11 Kez8

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Posted 11 February 2016 - 11:00 AM

 Many thanx for the info ... much appreciated ...



#12 Smsec

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Posted 18 February 2016 - 10:15 AM

Another thing to consider if you need to protect your location privacy is that photos taken with a cell phone will contain embedded GPS location data. This locational data will be much more accurate than location by iP address. If you post images online, the GPS data may be retained. Some social media sites strip this but not all. You can disable that or remove GPS from existing images. Heres a couple of articles with info on disabling and removing location data.

 

Remove Location Data From Your Photos Before Sharing Them

 

How to See Exactly Where a Photo Was Taken (and Keep Your Location Private)






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