Have you ever received an email that you then ‘forward’ on to others?
– When you send an email do you put the recipient’s address in the ‘To…’ the ‘Cc…’ or the ‘Bcc…’ option?
– Just how careful are you about who sees the addresses you have listed?
– Do you leave details of previous email addresses in the body of the mailing?
If you do any of these you may be unwittingly helping the Spammers!
You’ve probably received many jokes by email where the sender has neglected to protect the privacy and identity of previous addressees. Sometimes it is obvious that the email has been forwarded on many times because you can see lists of all the addresses and forwarding information in the body of the email detailing each forwarding instance with full email addresses of all the previous senders/recipients. It really is a spammer’s paradise to do this!
When such an email arrives in the inbox of a spammer or other unscrupulous person they are also getting a handy list of names and working email addresses of your nearest and dearest. What they can potentially do with this information might make you shudder.
Spam – also known as junk e-mail, unsolicited bulk e-mail (UBE) or unsolicited commercial e-mail (UCE) accounts for 78% of email sent. It clogs the internet and our email accounts. It steals our valuable time and resources when dealing with it. Spam can contain viruses that cause untold mayhem when they take over your computer using it to send out more spam emails or just stop your computer working at all. It can steal your address books and then perpetuate the problem by spamming all your friends and infecting their computers too.
80% of all spam emails are sent out from virus-infected computers.
You can see why having and using good Internet security, Anti-Virus and Anti-Spam software is essential.
When you forward on a joke or any email consider the privacy of the people concerned. In your email software, you will have a choice of how to send the mail. You can choose ‘To…’ ‘Cc..’. or ‘Bcc…’
What do the email recipients see?
To… Any recipients you list in ‘To..’ will be able to see the names/email addresses of all the other people you have listed under ‘To..’ and ‘CC..’ So no privacy here.
Cc… This stands for Carbon Copy – just like when the old manual typewriters used with carbon paper interspersed between sheets of paper so that multiple copies of the letter were produced. Anyone listed in ‘CC…’ will be able to see the names/email addresses of all the other people in ‘To..’ and ‘CC..’ No privacy here either!
Bcc… This stands for ‘Blind Carbon Copy’. They get a copy but no-one can see they got a copy. Anyone listed here will have their email hidden from anyone else. They will be able to see anyone listed in ‘To..’ and ‘CC..’ This is the best privacy option and should be chosen for all jokes and most emails unless you are emailing people in a closed group and can be assured of the security, privacy, and integrity of the group.
So before sending a message onward, you should remove all previous links and email identities. You will not be able to edit the content of a received email until you have clicked ‘forward’. Then you can remove all traces of previous addresses. Once you have done that you can add recipients in the ‘Bcc…’ box.
Well done – you are helping to keep the internet safe.
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