Have you ever wondered how a scammer used your email address to send an email to someone else, or you received a “scam email” presumed from “your bank” telling you to change your details due to system upgrade?
In fact, in most cases it has nothing to do with your mail account, and your mail account is totally safe.
All a spammer or scammer need to know is your email address. While your email account and email address are related, they are totally not the same.
UNDERSTANDING THE DIFFERENCE
EMAIL ACCOUNT is where all information about your email like username, password and email settings is stored.
EMAIL ADDRESS is an address (or a name) attached to your email account.
For example, you live in an apartment building and your apartment number is No. 18. Your email account is the apartment you live in and the apartment number is your email address (i.e. No. 18). If you want to send or receive a postal mail you will use something like:
Apt No. 18, Lion Building
Lakewood Estate, Lagos.
Any mail coming to Lion Building with “Apt No. 18” will be delivered directly to you and any mail that goes out of Lion Building with “Apt No. 18” as the sender, the recipient will know it is coming from you.
Now, it is very possible for someone living in another city to use your address (apt No. 18) as the sender, to post a mail to your friend, and your friend will receive it thinking you are the sender. That is what is called “email spoofing”, the email recipient will be tricked into believing that the email is from the address that is displayed on the “From:”
Watch this video to see how email address can be manipulated using email program to achieve this email trick (or hack).
Now don’t be surprised when you receive a “fake” email, the email address was actually spoofed.
Thanks for reading to this point, if you have any topic related to this or other techie issues you will want me to share better understanding on, please feel free to drop a comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.