Due to the increase of email spam, worms, and viruses, some people are reading their
email by viewing source. Now the problem is that some messages, when viewed by source,
look like they were written by a 2 year old. Just a bunch of letters and numbers. Most
likely you are looking at a message that has been encoded in Base64 format.
There are various reasons for using Base64 but I won't bore you with the details. All
you get from me is how to read those messages.
To see if your email message is indeed a text or HTML document encoded in Base64,
you'll need to look in the header section for the following lines:
- Content-Type: text/plain or Content-Type: text/html
- Content-Transfer-Encoding: base64
If you determine that the message is indeed text or HTML, the next step is to copy the
Base64 code and paste it in the box below. Only copy the Base64 code, including any
trailing equal signs "=". The "=" is used as a padding character when
needed, so not all Base64 code will have them.
Some messages may contain html code as well. You can choose to view the message with or
without the HTML tags. Removing the HTML will make the message easier to read. When the
message is decoded, it is displayed in a text only format, making HTML and scripts
useless. It's just like viewing a text file.
I've entered a sample Base64 encoded message in the box below. Click the 'Decode'
button to display the message. This form, is limited to 1000 characters for
security reasons. If your code is extremely long and was in an email it could be a
virus code. Enter a small portion (500 characters) and decode. If it results
in many different symbols it could be a malicious code and you should delete it from your
system and run a virus scan to be safe.