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It seems that it is somewhat easy to trace someone's physical location, by looking at the information included in any standard e-mail client. I was wondering if there are step-by-step instructions within the standard clients to prevent this? Would logging into an e-mail account through a proxy have the same effect?

asked Jul 16 '10 at 19:47

ko_yang_ee's gravatar image


edited Jul 19 '10 at 17:52

alexleiphart's gravatar image


no matter what you do you can still be traced if they really want to know who you are. you can use email spoofing and a proxy, but that is about the essayist things u can do.

answered Jul 16 '10 at 19:59

trueb's gravatar image


alt text

Are you Catherine (aka. Caity005)?

Why do you want to e-mail anonymously? SPAM?

answered Jul 16 '10 at 20:12

r0bErT4u's gravatar image


There really is no way. Maybe when you are on vacation, send it from there? :P

answered Jul 18 '10 at 23:16

alexleiphart's gravatar image


Simply use an online webmail that doesn't save your ip when sending. I can recommend Hushmail.com, where you can also make sure your message is encrypted, so unwanted parties can't intercept and read it.

answered Jul 19 '10 at 12:31

NoSubstitute's gravatar image


Telnet....it's a command in the command prompt that is actuall a programme and if you know how to use it you can send e-mails to anyone using a fake e-mail addresse so you can even make it seem like your e-mail was sent by someone else then you...you can even use already existing e-mail addresses as a fake return e-mail addresse...it good for pratical jokes...but please don't use it for anything harsh. Search Telnet up on youtube you shuold find something...(it doesn't work on all computers though...cause it doesnt work on mine.)

answered Jul 19 '10 at 13:27

ambysasa's gravatar image


You're a little vague about what you're trying to accomplish here, but I'll try to point you in the right direction. I think you're basically asking to do two separate things:

  1. send an email without giving a valid return address
  2. disguise its origin

Spoofing email essentially consists of altering the sent-by and reply-to header portions of the email. It's extremely easy, but most SMTP (email) servers will not accept those fields if they don't match the domain they're sent from for the purpose of preventing spam & harassment. You'll need to find an alternative method of sending mail to accomplish that. The easiest is to create a throw-away email address on a web email service that doesn't record personal information such as Hushmail. Unless your recipient is using a really shitty email service other options are probably outside your ability - just use a real email address that isn't linked to your identity.

Disguising its origin means hiding your IP address, which is what the proxy is for - you were on the right track there. It's much easier to use a web-based email service than a POP3 client (e.g. Outlook, Thunderbird) when dealing with a proxy. The Onion Router is by far the best proxy system. Go to http://theonionrouter.com and learn what it is and how to install it and get the Firefox plugin for it.

Beyond that, I don't know what you're trying to accomplish so I don't know what to tell you, but here are a few guesses:

If you're trying to prevent authorities from finding out that you've sent a message from within their territory (for example if you're a journalist or political dissident in an information-oppressive country like North Korea, China, Britain, the U.S. or other commie/imperialist) then yes you're on the right track with using a proxy (that's what TOR is, a very complicated multi-layered proxy, look into it). You're also going to want to encrypt the message itself, but that relies on your recipient knowing who you are and having your public key so he can decrypt it. For that PGP is a great option, and Hushmail can help you get started on it. You may also look into PGP plugins for your IMs; Pigeon is a great multi-IM client with built-in PGP encryption called OTR (Off the Record).

If some intelligence/thug agency is already after you, you have bigger problems than privacy and securing yourself is way outside the scope of this forum (but IMO you're not completely hopeless if you're a quick study and have good friends, I just can't help you here).

If you're looking to send email and you don't want the recipient to know who you are (because you're a spammer, or harassing someone, or for one of numerous legitimate reasons), keep in mind that spam filters are designed to prevent just that sort of thing. Like I said you can send spoofed email easily, but odds are it will get filtered out and the intended recipient will never see it. If your recipient knows you but you don't want others finding out about it than the same advice as above applies - TOR+Encryption+anonymous web email is the way to go.

I hope that's set you on the right path, and good luck!

answered Jul 19 '10 at 16:54

Justen%20Robertson's gravatar image

Justen Robertson

edited Jul 19 '10 at 16:55

Oh, RE: Telnet: you probably could use telnet to connect to an SMTP server, but it's not going to accomplish what you want (the server will reject your email if the headers don't match the origin) and it'll probably end with your IP being logged too, which is counter-productive. I'd stay way from that advice if I were you. Telnet is just a text-based terminal client, it's not a magical h4x0r tool. It's mainly used by sysadmins to connect to command-line terminals on remote machines. It's capable of talking to any service that accepts plain text commands (FTP, HTTP, SMTP, MUDs, others), but it's not terribly useful in that capacity.

answered Jul 19 '10 at 17:00

Justen%20Robertson's gravatar image

Justen Robertson

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Asked: Jul 16 '10 at 19:47

Seen: 4,801 times

Last updated: Jul 19 '10 at 17:52