We all get numerous emails on a daily basis but when we get something that’s a warning and seems like it’s important, the urge to forward it on to as many people as possible prompts us to do so. But I’d like to encourage you to stop and think for a moment and do something else first.
Put the subject heading into your search engine and see what comes up. More often than not you’ll find sites like Urban Legend, Symantec’s list of hoaxes, Hoax Busters and others at the top of the list.
Ok, so now you’ve confirmed it’s a hoax and you are now able to delete the email, thereby effectively stopping it in its tracks and preventing others from getting yet another annoying email and continuing it on its journey.
But what if it were an email you still needed to forward on? If you are going to forward on email to a group of people, think about how you are going to do that. I’ve lost count of the times that I receive an email forwarded by someone (usually one of the above-mentioned hoax emails) and it has half a page of email addresses and names on it. This is because the addresses were entered into the To: or CC: field. Don’t do it! Do not put multiple addresses in these two fields. It’s not a safe practice and it also smacks of a lack of professionalism, i.e. someone who doesn’t use email much and doesn’t know better. And if you’re running a business via the Internet, you had better know better!
You see, if just one person on that list is infected by a virus or a trojan you have just given their computer a whole new list of email addresses to send out to. Ooops! That wasn’t a good idea, was it? Also, if just one of those people is desperate for email addresses to build their list with – you’ve just given them half a page worth and they’ll be very grateful for that. Give us a break! We all get put on too many spammer’s lists now, why make it easier for someone else to do the same? Whether they are a friend or a family member, it doesn’t matter – if they use that list to send to, they could be branded a spammer, so don’t make it easy for them.
Sending bulk email to large lists is better done using BCC or via a mail server list service so that each individual only sees their name and address and no-one else’s. Sure, it’s fine to send to a group of friends or family but not to a list of unconnected people – not a good idea. KMT