Risk management: Email

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The use of free email services

  • When you receive a job offer from a company you never worked for sent by the alleged project manager (or equivalent) from a free email address (such as name@gmail.com ) you should consider this as a warning of possible problems ahead.
    • It would not hurt you to take some additional step to confirm that the assignment is real (for instance contacting the company by means of their webpage).
    • Check also for the correct spelling of the company name in the domain, as a scamming address could be created to resemble a legitimate address by means of a small typo.
  • A recent quick poll on the question "Do you distrust job inquiries sent from a free email account?" produced the following results:
    • 46.4% voted "No, not necessarily"
    • 40.8% voted "Yes, generally"
    • 10.0% voted "No, why should I?"
    • 2.8% selected the option "Other - N/A"
  • In the associated discussion some members reported being generally wary of free email addresses from an alleged company (agency, end client, etc.), but they found it quite normal in emails from translators.
  • A member added that it is easy and inexpensive to make a domain name and an email address with a format name@yourcompany.com so the email address data needs to be considered very carefully.

Reading and understanding the source IP address

On IP addresses

According to Wikipedia, an Internet Protocol (IP) address is a numerical label that is assigned to devices participating in a computer network, that uses the Internet Protocol for communication between its nodes. An IP address serves two principal functions: host or network interface identification and location addressing. Its role has been characterized as follows: "A name indicates what we seek. An address indicates where it is. A route indicates how to get there."

The designers of TCP/IP defined an IP address as a 32-bit number[1] and this system, known as Internet Protocol Version 4 or IPv4, is still in use today. However, due to the enormous growth of the Internet and the predicted depletion of available addresses, a new addressing system (IPv6), using 128 bits for the address, was developed in 1995[3] and standardized by RFC 2460 in 1998.[4] Although IP addresses are stored as binary numbers, they are usually displayed in human-readable notations, such as (for IPv4), and 2001:db8:0:1234:0:567:1:1 (for IPv6).

The Internet Protocol is used to route data packets between networks; IP addresses specify the locations of the source and destination nodes in the topology of the routing system. For this purpose, some of the bits in an IP address are used to designate a subnetwork. The number of these bits is indicated in CIDR notation, appended to the IP address; e.g.,

As the development of private networks raised the threat of IPv4 address exhaustion, RFC 1918 set aside a group of private address spaces that may be used by anyone on private networks. They are often used with network address translators to connect to the global public Internet.

The Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA), which manages the IP address space allocations globally, cooperates with five Regional Internet Registries (RIRs) to allocate IP address blocks to Local Internet Registries (Internet service providers) and other entities.

IP addresses and how to decode them

  • Once you have the source IP of the email you can investigate this information using a tool like to one provided by Melissa
  • To do that you should enter the IP address in the corresponding field and click on "submit".
    • You will get the following information: city, state or region, country and Internet Service Provider (ISP)
    • For instance if you enter the IP you will get
City	Lagos
State or Region	Lagos
Country	Nigeria
ISP	Assigned To Lagos Dial-Pool Customers. 

Getting the source IP address of an incoming email

Emails received through your ProZ.com profile

  • When you receive an email through your ProZ.com profile, the header of the message includes the following information:
    • When the sender was not logged-in:
You have been sent a message via ProZ.com.
Author: XXXX [NOTE: The author is not a registered ProZ.com user or was not logged in when sending this message.]
Author's IP address:
Message type: Job-related

Using Gmail

Using Yahoo email

Discussion related to this article

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