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Giving Away Your Email List?

by Ruth Marlene Friesen

How often are you giving away your email list? Do you even notice when you do it?

I’ve learned long ago not to ever send an email to EVERYONE in the address book of my email program. It is not just our immediate family and closest friends in there. Especially if you use an email program like Outlook or Outlook Express, because it captures the email of every piece of spam that comes in to you too.

Or those forwards that a friend sent you? Really cute picture, or an inspirational article. But it may have been a spammer who set that in motion and urged everyone to send it to their friends. They knew something you didn’t; that their email would end up in your address book and next time you send out a forward, they would get a copy - AND LO AND BEHOLD, they would be able to see ALL your emails in your Address book! What a harvest for their next mailing!

Nor do they stick to cute kittens and inspirational stories. They use their mailing list to SELL whatever they are selling, or to lure innocent people to sites they should NOT be visiting.

Avoid Giving Away Your Email List

Here’s a little etiquette rule or two to keep you safe;

1. Respect the Privacy of all the people you correspond with. As you have discovered, you can enter one email address after another, and if you use a comma or a space after them, the system WILL send you email to each of them. Don’t do that! Consider that a great rudeness, for you expose your family and friends to others, who may not have the manners to keep from claiming those addresses for their address book. Tell yourself that it undressing your loved ones to strangers! Horrors!

2. When to Send Carbon Copy. Sometimes in some situations you do want to write the same message to two or more people. You want them to know that you are sending a copy to the other person. Therefore, you use the line that says CC. or Cc. which stands for ‘carbon copy.’ This is proper etiquette if you are sending a notice or reminder to all the members of a committee. Or if you are negotiating between two parties and you don’t want the one party to think the other party is getting some extra secret information, so to be totally open and above board, you send both of them the exact same email. You prove it by entering both their emails in the CC field.

3. When to Send Blind Carbon Copy. There are other situations though, where you as a secretary may be responding to someone else on behalf of your boss. But your boss needs to know what you wrote in his name, so he should get a copy of that email, but not necessarily the recipient of it. So then you use the line, or change the choice to B.C. or Bcc. which stands for Blind Carbon Copy. That means, there is a carbon copy, but not openly acknowledged.

Obviously, this feature can be misused when people are not honest and honourable in all their dealings with people. Which brings me to another strong and main etiquette rule when it comes to emails. Be careful what you write in every email. Simply because someone else could be seeing your words and if that should embarrass you, you may have great trouble!

Not only might someone be sending someone else of emails to you, they might be forwarding them as well, and you would never know.

Always mind your manners in your emails. You never know when they can be used against you!

Don’t jeopardize your friends’ emails by showing them openly in forwards. In fact, don’t send forwards unless truly necessary, and only to selected people. Not everyone in your address book.

Get a brand new email - If you get a lot of junk mail and spam, and abide by the above rules. You’ll be surprised for how long your Inbox will seem very quiet and tame.

Remind me to tell you some other time about using a number of emails to filter your correspondence, so if one ends up on a spammer’s list, you don’t have to start your online life all over again!

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Ruth Marlene Friesen

Ruth Marlene Friesen
The Responsible One

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