Be it work correspondence, marketing, or socializing, using internet mail applications has become the primary and preferred way of reaching out. But as much as it is convenient and practical, we can’t ignore the various problems of email communication.
One of the most pending questions of security you should be asking yourself is how to trace the email sender location in Gmail. And the answer is right here – we have described the two ways to determine the email sender location in Gmail for you.
Method 1: Track an email IP address
Sometimes the anonymity the Internet provides can be abused and used against a person. That’s why it is crucial to understand how to confirm the counterpart’s location to protect yourself and prevent abuse.
One of the easiest ways to check the identity of your digital pen pal is to track an IP address from an email in Gmail. Having some sort of e-mail address locator would definitely help, but there are plenty of manual ways to do it.
While the location tracking via IP itself is a pretty easy process and can be done with a number of free tools, the main problem is often getting your hands on the IP address itself.
The email IP address can be considered sensitive information (and it definitely is). While some mail clients ignore this fact and display the sender’s email IP address clearly, getting it from Gmail can be a little tricky.
Gmail’s web interface hides the email sender’s IP address, shielding it from the eyes of casual users. You’ll have to look for some other way to trace the email sender’s location if they are using the Gmail web-interface.
The first thing you need to do is go to the letter you received. Look for the three dots (⋮), which are usually located on the right-hand side of the screen. Clicking them will open a drop-down menu. It’s the option Show Original you’re interested in. Click it to go to the detailed info behind the email.
It’s really easy from then on, as the information you’re looking for is right in that window. You just have to find the field named “SPF” (sender policy framework), and you’re basically done. That’s the email IP address you’re looking for.
Once you have the email sender’s IP address, you can check their location using one of the multiple IP tracking tools.
Method 2: Social media location track
Social media has transformed communication and socializing as we know it. However, many people do not realize how much they expose themselves by putting their personal information on their public social media profiles. This vulnerability can be used when searching for the sender of an email as well.
Most of the users tend to stick to one or similar nicknames when registering on different websites. Chances are, if you use their email address for the search on the social media with a similar nickname, you might be able to find the profile. From there, you can try to figure out their location using the information they published. One of the most popular ways to find the location of your professional contacts this way is by using LinkedIn.
Be careful, though; this technique is less reliable as it can lead you to the wrong account. Furthermore, spam or scam emails are likely to use fake or just randomly generated addresses.
Once you’ve verified that the sender is not the person they’re posing as, there are many different ways to deal with the situation. Ignoring their messages is the easiest one, but you can go further. Blocking the user from sending you emails will save your spam filter the effort.
An even better solution would be to block their IP-address. Any messages sent from that address will be weeded out by your filters. Unfortunately, Gmail doesn’t have a built-in function to do that, but that’s no problem. Linux users enjoy the luxury of being able to manage their IP-tables directly from the command line.
And for all Windows users out there, you can always find software for that. A quick search will get you the right program along with instructions on how to use it correctly.
It goes without saying that tracing someone’s location should not be abused. The worldwide and wild web is a land of freedom. You live and let live. Respect other users’ privacy and only employ the techniques showcased here for your own protection.
IP addresses can be changed or hidden, time zones and social media profiles can be faked. Electronic mail scams are not the only danger on the internet. Research various tools and techniques that will help you keep yourself and your data safe. Finally, here’s a quick email security checklist:
- Look for suspicious speech patterns
- Make sure the address that just mailed you belongs to someone you know or a reputable organization
- Look for suspicious requests
- If in doubt, track the IP
- If there are more doubts, attempt the social media search
- Block the unwanted users directly or via IP
- Report the account to tech support