Protecting Privacy When Using Email

Protecting Privacy When Using Email

We’ve all gotten emails from people who put every recipient’s address in the “To:” field. Now, in a perfect world, that might not be such a big deal (although all those addresses can take up a lot of space at the top of the email). Unfortunately, it only takes one unthinking person to cause a lot of problems for everyone on that list.

What’s the danger? Well, some people (and you may even know some, yourself) think something along these lines:

You know, I really like getting jokes in my email every day—they’re so funny! I’ll bet all these other people would sure appreciate it if I forwarded these jokes to them each day.

The above scenario would be bad enough. Unfortunately, some people go beyond this:

Hmmm….Fred from this group reminds me a lot of Barney from this other group. I think I’ll go ahead and sign up Fred to all the email lists that I know Barney’s a part of. He’ll thank me for it! But since I’m such a humble guy, I won’t even tell him I did this for him—I’ll just rest content, knowing that I did a good deed.

Suddenly, Fred is getting hundreds of spam emails from heaven knows where. He wonders how this could have happened—he never signed up for any of this, and he email address is nothing that a spammer would just happen to guess.

As bad as this is, it could be worse:

Wow—look at those foxy ladies! I think the old fuddy duddies in the office could use a little livening up. I’m gonna sign them up for these sexy pics that I’m getting every day. Ooh, I can’t wait to see the looks on their faces at the office tomorrow!

Yikes. Now everyone in the office is suddenly getting some of the most vile, sordid emails—and they wonder how this could have happened.

There’s an easy solution, though. Create an email list. Put everyone’s email address on it. Use the list—not the individual addresses—in the “To:” field. Alternatively, you could paste everyone’s address in the “BCC:” field. The point, though, is that privacy is important; do your part to protect it.