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If you've been sent an email forward, especially the kind with some type of warning, it's worth it to try and find the email at For example, I just got an email forward warning about glade plugins burning down a house. When I searched snopes for "glade", I found this link: This email has been going around the internet for over a year and never been verified as a hoax or not. Things like this will happen all the time, usually from compeition (febreeze for example makes a spray can), or just someone playing a prank and seeing how many people it will get forwarded to. It's worth just browsing through the website too, lots of funny stories that are fake, and real:

Procmail is the most powerful, as well as complex, email processor there is today. You should also be aware of how to treat email Abuse.

Behind the scenes

The original RFC that covers email is [RFC821].

Email is sent over port 25. To test this out, find the name of your local SMTP server. We'll assume in this example that your mail server is and your email address is, trying to send an email to your friend root@

 $ telnet 25
 Connected to
 Escape character is '^]'.
 250-SIZE 1024000
 250 Ok
 RCPT TO: <root@>
 250 Ok
 354 End data with <CR><LF>.<CR><LF>

 This is a test message

 250 Ok: queued as 25CED619F

If you tried this, you should get an email shortly. Now you know what happens with your email client (Mail User Agent) behind the scenes when you send an email. Now try to be sneaky and change the MAIL FROM: header to a fake email address and see what happens.

General Etiquette

  • If your communication is solely text based, make sure you're using proper spelling and grammer as perception is everything.
  • Reread your email and see if there is anything you can take out, keep it short and to the point.
  • Draft your messages in plain text. Avoid rtf (rich text format) and HTML in emails.

You will be respected a lot more by your reader(s) if you follow these guidelines.


  • cut out any text from the previous email that is not relevant to your reply
  • do not top post (reply underneath the text you're directly replying to)
  • any lines starting with a ">" are from the previous person, so make sure anything new you type is not prefixed with > or the next reader will ignore it thinking it was from the previous email


Email signatures are usually prefixed with a --\n and shouldn't be any more then 4 lines long. For example:

Al Queda
Minister of Conspiracy
Bastard, Ontario, Canada

Blocking Spam

If you administer an MTA, our recommended solution is spamd

Mailing Lists

The most popular mailing list software is Mailman, followed by majordomo. The advantage of running majordomo today is you do not require a web server as you do with Mailman. There are also websites that allow you to run mailing lists, as long as they can advertise on all of your group emails.


Email clients are also known as mail user agents (MUAs). For a graphical MUA, we recommend you try Thunderbird which allows you to check multiple email addresses. For an ncurses MUA try mutt or pine.

Temporary email address

Top 10 temporary email address providers