Control Your E-Mail Address to Reduce Spam

You control the fate of SPAM in your email box more than any other source. Here are ways to keep SPAMMERS from acquiring your email address and using it to fill your box with useless e-.mail.

Sending group e-mails

If you do need to send an email to a group of people, as a courtesy to those you are sending to, please list all of the recipients e-mail addresses in the Bcc field. (Blind carbon copy - from the old days when typewriters used carbon paper to create identical copies of a document when it was being typed.) When an e-mail address is designated in the Blind carbon copy field, the recipient will get a copy of the email while their e-mail address remains invisible to the other recipients of the e-mail - some of whom they may or may not know. If you are not sure how to Bcc in your e-mail program, Microsoft offers great resource.

Long lists of e-mail addresses at the beginning of any e-mail is an immediate sign that the sender is either a novice or doesn't care to respect other's privacy. None of which are complimentary perceptions! E-mail addresses are like phone numbers. Only the owner of the e-mail address or phone number should be the only one to hsare it with others they want to use it.

By your sending mass e-mails to a list of people, you have made that decision for them - and that is bad, very bad. Let those you correspond with determine for themselves who they will make their e-mail address known to - do not make that decision for them! By listing handfuls of e-mail addresses in the e-mail headers for all to see is inconsiderate of each recipient's right to privacy.

What you might also notice is those addresses tend to follow the e-mail because people tend to just 'Forward' the e-mail instead of copying the information, pasting into a new e-am, and resending. This is where SPAMMERS tend to get long lists of e-mail addresses for future use.

Friendly SPAM

A good bit of SPAM comes from friends and family sending the lastest chain e-mail or the absolutely funniest e-mail they have ever seen about Rednecks, big wheels, and Jolt.

Avoid begginner mistakes. If you are new to e-mail, raise your right hand and repeat after me:

  1. "I will not forward or send any jokes, 'chain letters' or unimportant emails to my friends, family and colleagues without their permission."
  2. "I understand that by doing so I may fill up their in box, use others resources unnecessarily and cause important e-mail to bounce while at the same time waisting precious time."
  3. "I understand that most people have seen these e-mails several times by now and find them very annoying."
  4. "I know that by forwarding these so-called humorous e-mails may offend or upset people who do not share my sense of humor or politics."
Now you will no longer be tempted to forward jokes or other frivolous e-mails! And, you will avoid looking silly and uninformed in the process. Read them if you must then hit delete. Besides, you don't really believe those e-mails that state you will receive money in the mail if you send it to ten of your friends.
Protecting your information is your responsibility

Never give out phone numbers or personal information without confirming you are communicating with a reputable party. Never give out personal contact information of others without their specific permission to do so.

Office email is the property of your employer

If you assume your office email is for your use and no one has the right to look at it. You are wrong. Your boss can look at your email any time they want. You should not give out or use your office email for anything other than business related correspondences.

You should have a separate email for family and friends. I would suggest getting a free Yahoo or Hotmail account. Here again, this email should be checked away from the office (or maybe during your lunch hour, if the boss allows). Studies show that a tremendous amount of productivity is being lost to non-business related email.

All office email should relate to your job and nothing more. Do not use it to sign up for news, weather, or sports feeds unless they are business related. Your employer has the right to walk into your office at any time and look at your email or, for that matter, anything on your computer.