email header parser

An email header parser is a tool that can help you to parse email headers of a specific email message. It can be used to find out who sent you an email, where it came from, and what happened when it was sent. The purpose of this post is to give you some information about how email header parsers work and how you can use them to parse your own emails. 

What is the need for parsing your email headers?

When an email arrives at your inbox, its header contains all sorts of data about the sender—their location, IP address, ISP (internet service provider), whether they’re using mobile data or Wi-Fi… the list goes on! This data can be used to make better decisions about how to respond to each customer. 

In simple terms, an email header parser is a piece of software that can read the header information in an email and extract data from it. The header contains information about the sender, recipients and other details that are useful for parsing the email.

The header parser can be used to extract a variety of information from the email. For example, if you need to know who sent an email to whom, then you can use the header parser to get this information. If you need to know when an email was sent or received, then you can use this tool as well. 

Additionally, an email header parser can also extract  information about your email authentication results, namely, SPF, DKIM and DMARC.

What is email authentication and how can it help you?

Most of us have received at least one scam email in our lives, and we’ve all had to deal with phishing attacks and other attempts to get us to click on links or open attachments. With email authentication, you can rest assured that the email you receive is actually from the person who sent it.

It does so by either verifying your sender’s IP address like in case of SPF, or by appending a digital signature to outgoing messages from your domain, like in case of DKIM

Email authentication helps you protect yourself from phishing scams and other types of fraud. When you use email authentication in conjunction with other security measures, it’s even better—you’re less likely to fall for a scam if you follow best practices for staying safe online.

What information does your email header contain?

The header contains a number of different fields that give you information about the email and its sender. These fields include:

  • To: The recipient of an email (or multiple recipients)
  • From: The sender of the email.
  • Subject: The subject line of an email.
  • Date: When an item was sent or received.
  • In-Reply-To: A reference to another message (if applicable).
  • Message-Id: A unique identifier assigned by the sending system for tracking purposes.
  • The sender’s IP address 
  • Email Authentication Results (SPF, DKIM and DMARC)
  • ARC-seal and ARC authentication results 

    The problem with manually viewing your email headers

    As you can probably tell, when you view your email headers manually, they are disorganized, in XML format and hard to read and understand. This is exactly why you need an email header parser. 

    The PowerDMARC Email Header Parser

    The PowerDMARC email header parser is an email header analyzer tool that helps parse email headers into a human readable format that can be easily read and understood by anyone with or without any technical knowledge. 

    You can switch between “Human” and “Raw” versions of your email headers as per your requirements with the click of a button, along with a detailed report of your email authentication results, status of verification, and any underlying errors as shown below: 

By parsing your email headers with the PowerDMARC email header parser, you can perform a quick check on your email security compliances to make sure that you are adequately protected against phishing, spoofing, BEC and other forms of email fraud.