Is Your Email Provider Leaking Your IP Address to Recipients? Here’s How to Find Out

Is Your Email Provider Leaking Your IP Address to Recipients? Here's How to Find Out

If you are focused on protecting your privacy, one thing that you should know is whether or not your email provider is leaking your IP address to recipients. When you send out an email message, there is header information sent along with it. Unfortunately, this header information can often reveal unwanted information to recipients such as your IP address, which recipients can then use to find out your general location.

gHacks notes that “if you using Gmail, you may notice that the IP address is not included if you use the web service, but that it is included if you use a third party program.” Therefore, it’s important to know this so that you can change your habits accordingly.

There is a online service called Email Leak Test, which you can use to check and and see if your email provider is leaking your IP address to recipients. It’s very easy to use:

1. Click on “Start” on the homepage.

2. Send an email to the unique address listed on the next page – the subject and body are not required.

You'll be given a unique email address that you'll need to send a message to.

3. Wait a few minutes for Email Leak Test to receive your message, after which the page will automatically update with your results.

Hopefully, the results will show that your email is not leaking.

If your email is leaking your IP address, then you may want to consider using a VPN, changing email providers or using one of these email encryption tools.

via gHacks

3 comments

  1. I really don’t know what the concern is here. Most people you send e-mail messages to don’t need your IP address to find out your “general” location, they already know your *exact* location, as you’ve given it to them…friends, family, businesses you’ve ordered things from, web sites you’ve created accounts on, etc. But so what if your IP address is in the headers of an e-mail message? 90% of people have their e-mail client set to display minimal headers…To, From, Subject, Date/Time…and so don’t know your IP address is there. In fact, most of those people don’t even know that there *are* other headers in an e-mail message. The other 10% who, like myself, have set their client to display all available headers, aren’t that interested in where you are…they’re interested in other things (sorry, can’t be more specific).

    “If your email is leaking your IP address, then you may want to consider using a VPN, changing email providers or using one of these email encryption tools”

    Encryption tools are of no use in preventing your IP address from being leaked. The set of headers that include your IP address are added by your e-mail provider’s servers *after* you’ve sent the e-mail, so there is nothing you can do about it. Changing your e-mail provider is of little use, as nearly all of them add your IP address to the headers. The only real way to hide *your* IP address is to use a VPN, as then it’s the *VPN’s* IP address that gets leaked. The only downside to using a VPN for e-mail is that you possibly may not be able to use your ISP’s free e-mail service…you’d probably have to pay to use a 3rd-party e-mail service.

    BTW, the reason that the sender’s IP address is added to an e-mail is to aid in tracking down and eliminating Spammers, which means that adding the IP is a Good Thing (TM). In a Spam e-mail, the “From:” e-mail address is almost always faked, so is mostly useless in tracking down the sender. Knowing the e-mail provider the Spam originated from (which is also included in the headers that are added) is slightly more helpful, but given the number of people that probably use that provider (think Google), not that much more helpful. But that IP address points *directly* at the computer that sent the Spam and so is critical in identifying and eliminating Spammers…which, of course, is why there’s nothing the sender can do to prevent it from being added.

    • “BTW, the reason that the sender’s IP address is added to an e-mail is to aid in tracking down and eliminating Spammers”
      And we all know how that is working out! Spammers are proliferating like rabbits. Rather than eliminating spammers, the addition of IP address helps spammers.

Comments are closed.

Sponsored Stories