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Q: email - monitoring emails ( Answered,   2 Comments )
Subject: email - monitoring emails
Category: Computers > Security
Asked by: nic1111-ga
List Price: $25.00
Posted: 02 Oct 2006 06:38 PDT
Expires: 01 Nov 2006 05:38 PST
Question ID: 770132
Can you tell me if it possible for someone to be reading my emails
before they get to me? I suspect someone (who might know my password)
has arranged for my emails to be 'forwarded' to their Blackberry

Is there a way of checking if my emails are being read by others? And
if so, how - short of changing password - can I prevent this

Request for Question Clarification by sublime1-ga on 02 Oct 2006 13:08 PDT

It's difficult to conceive of any way for someone to have your
email forwarded to them without actually gaining access to your
primary account, where such forwarding would be controlled.

For example, if your primary account was with Gmail, and they
knew your password, they could change the account settings so
that all incoming email was forwarded to them, while at the 
same time, the original is retained on the server. This would
make no changes to your incoming email or its headers, but 
would be easy to spot in the account settings.

You didn't say what your primary service is, but, if it has
the capability of forwarding mail and retaining a copy on
the server, you should be able to easily see this in the

Let me know where this takes you...


Clarification of Question by nic1111-ga on 24 Oct 2006 15:41 PDT
Thank you for the answers. I am not computer literate, my main
provider is AOL and I use a blackberry device to which the emails are
forwarded. I'm assuming (it seems correctly from the other comments?)
that if I can arrange for the emails to be forwarded to my blackberry,
someone else could also do the same?

Many thanks again

Subject: Re: email - monitoring emails
Answered By: sublime1-ga on 24 Oct 2006 16:57 PDT

Thanks for your clarification. If, as you seem to suspect, someone
knows your AOL account password, they can certainly (and easily)
arrange to have your mail forwarded to an account they specify in
a way that will not give you any indication that they are doing so.

As an example, someone can use a program such as Mail Forward to
access your AOL account and forward it to any account they choose.
Mail Forward is free to try for 30 days, but must then be bought
and registered:

eNetBot is another similar program:

All they need to do is set up the program to access AOL using your
AOL username and password and have it check your account as often
as every 10 minutes automatically, forwarding all the mail to any
other email address they choose. They can stipulate that a copy of
the email they download will remain on the server. Given this, you
will see all your mail on your server, accessible as usual, and 
there will be no indication that your mail has been forwarded to
another account.

AOL will probably have logs they can access to determine what 
access to your account has been made by other than yourself, but
I'm willing to bet they will be unwilling to do so given that
you are not an agent of the law. And an agent of the law is not
likely to act on your behalf if you cannot indicate that any harm
has occurred. I'm reasonably certain that both of them will tell
you to simply change your password.

Still, you can contact AOL's Live Help and other support from 
this page:

You can also enter 'contact AOL', with no quotes, in the search
box at the top right of this page:

Another approach, short of changing your password (though I can't
imagine why you wouldn't want to) is to download and use the Mail
Forward program yourself, entering as your outgoing
email server, and set up the program to automatically forward your
email to another account (say a gmail account) and have it REMOVE
the email from the AOL server. Depending on how the person who is
sneak-forwarding your email has their forwarding set up, they may
still catch some of your mail, but not as much of it, and maybe
none of it.

If you have any further questions, please post a Request for 
Clarification before rating this answer.


Additional information may be found from further exploration
of the links provided above, as well as those resulting from
the Google searches outlined below.

Searches done, via Google:

aol mail forwarding

aol mail help
Subject: Re: email - monitoring emails
From: harrysnet-ga on 02 Oct 2006 14:45 PDT
Two possibilities, which may or may not apply to you:

1) If the someone has access to the system administrator of the mail server
that keeps your email (possible in a work environment, less likely if you
get your emails from your ISP) they may have arranged for a copy to be 
forwarded elsewhere.

2) They know only your password, and use the POP3 protocol to get your email. 
Then your client connects to get the mails every so often (say every 5 or 10
minutes). Then they can set another client to connect (say) every 1 minute,
get the emails and still leave them on the server (this is an option in POP3).
Then they grab most of the emails (only the ones arriving between their 
connection and one of yours are not grabbed), and your client notices nothing.

BTW, did you consider changing your password? This would be the safest 
resolution in this instance, either to solve the problem or to ensure your 
peace of mind.

The above are not necessarily what happened, and may not apply to you, but
I hope they help.
Subject: Re: email - monitoring emails
From: usrhlp2-ga on 04 Oct 2006 04:18 PDT
What you have suggested is 100% possible in an exchange environment.
It would take even the most useless of administrators 10 seconds to
set up forwarding so that all mails that hit your box are forwarded
onto another account and you would never know.

As you know it is happening chances are someone is accessing your
account directly. Speak to the owner of the mail system and see if
they give clues as to knowing what is happening.


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