How to Stop Email Spoofing in Gmail and Outlook?

There are different types of online risks we need to keep our email accounts protected from. One of such threats is email spoofing. A lot of Gmail and Outlook users face email spoofing issue in their email accounts. If you are facing this issue and looking to stop email spoofing in your Gmail and Outlook, you can go through the solutions provided below. However, before moving to the solutions, you would want to know what exactly is email spoofing.

What is Email Spoofing?

Email Spoofing is the composition of emails with a forged sender email address. As email protocols don’t come with any sort of system for authentication, it is easier for cybercriminals for spamming and phishing email messages using spoofing to misguide or prank the recipient about the origin or authenticity of the email.

How Email Spoofing is Done?

When an email is sent from your account, the name of the sender is attached to the email. This name of the sender however can be forged. When spoofing is done by anyone, the person can use your email address as the address of the sender or the reply-to address.

So, now as you know what email spoofing refers to, let us know how to prevent email spoofing in your Gmail and Outlook email account by following the solutions provided below.

Guide to Stop Email Spoofing in Gmail

If You Are Getting Bounces for Emails you Didn’t Send

Reason for the Spoofing Occurrence

Some hackers or spammers use software programs to form random lists of addresses to use them for spoofing. If your Gmail account is being spoofed, you may receive notifications of delivery failures for email messages which appear to be sent by you.

To fix the Problem

As such spoof email messages are formed outside of Gmail, it is not possible for Gmail to prevent the spammers from spoofing your email address. If you ever receive such kind of email messages in your account, it is best to report them as spam.

If there are Emails in Spam Sent from Your Address

You may notice that there are emails in the Spam folder sent from your Gmail address. This could be because some spammers try to send emails using a fake “From” address. Making the email appears to be sent by you address help spammers to prevent the email from getting marked as spam. If you notice an email in the Spam folder which replaces your email address with “me”, it means that someone tried to use your address in the “Fromfield of the email.

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If Your Friends and Family Say that you Sent them Spam

In case your family and friends have informed you that spam messages are being sent from your address, you can follow the instructions provided below:

  1. Add Account Recovery Options
  • Sign in to your Gmail account and click on the Google Apps icon (Tiles) located near the top-right corner of the screen. From the expanded menu, click on the Accounts option.
  • In the Accounts section, click the Personal info
  • Next click Add a recovery phone to help keep your account secure option on the Contact info
  • Here, you will be able to:
  • Add a recovery phone
  • Change your recovery phone: click Edit next to your number (Pen icon).
  • Delete your recovery phone: click Delete next to your number (Trash icon).
  • After that, follow the on-screen prompts to complete the process.
  1. Turn on 2-Step Verification
    • Go to the Account section in your Gmail account.
    • Next, select the Security option in the navigation panel.
    • Then, select a 2-Step Verification option under “Signing in to Google” and click Get started
    • After that, follow the on-screen prompts to set up two-step verification.
  1. Choose a Strong Password

It is always recommended to use a strong password for all your online accounts including Gmail to ensure that no one is able to intrude it. A strong password usually combines alphabets (both small and capital), numbers, and special characters. Using such a kind of password is difficult to break.  You can change your password by going to the Sign-in & security page of your Google account.

  1. Check the Settings of your Gmail Account

Sometimes a hacker may change certain settings in your Gmail account to get access to your emails. Therefore it is necessary to check all the settings of your Gmail account if ever your account gets hacked or you notice suspicious activities in your account, for example spoofing emails. General tab, Accounts and Import tab, Filters and Blocked Addresses tab, and Forwarding and POP/IMAP tab are some of the common settings which hackers generally use to take advantage of your account.

  1. Check for an Update and Check the Current Version of your Web Browser
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Always make sure that you are using the latest version of the Gmail application on your mobile device and similarly the latest version of the web browser on your computer using which you access your Gmail account. Using an outdated version of a web browser or Gmail app may make your account vulnerable to cyber crimes such as hacking, spamming, and phishing.

  1. Report Scams, Spam, and Phishing

If you receive suspicious emails including spoofing messages that seek your personal or financial information, it is strongly recommended to not reply or click on any of the links in the message. You must report about such emails to Google by marking them as spam or simply block them. You can report such emails as spam right-clicking on it and selecting Move to > Spam option. If you wish to block such emails, open the email, click on the menu (three vertical dots icon) located near the top-right corner of the email window, and click on the Block “sender name of email address” option.

Guide to Stop Email Spoofing in Outlook

If you ever notice or find a spoofing email in your Outlook email account, you can follow the steps provided below to report it as phishing.

  1. Go to your Outlook email account and select the email(s) from the message list that you wish to report.
  2. Just above the reading pane, you will need to select the Junk > Phishing > Report option to report the sender of the email.

While these steps help you mark an email as phishing, it only reports the sender but doesn’t prevent them from sending you more such emails in the future. Therefore, it is suggested to also block such senders in addition to reporting them. To block the sender, you will need to add them to the blocked senders’ list in your Outlook account. Below are the steps that you will need to follow to block senders.

  1. Select the emails or senders you wish to block in your account.
  2. Next, you will need to select the Junk > Block (or Spam > Block) option from the toolbar located at the top.
  3. Then, select the OK button. Doing so will delete the selected email and prevent all the future emails from getting into your account.

So, these are the steps that you will need to follow to stop email spoofing in your Gmail and Outlook account.

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