Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Do you really know how to forward e-mails?

This was written by a System Administrator for a corporate system. It is an
excellent message that ABSOLUTELY applies to ALL of us who send e-mails.
Please read the short letter below ...

Do you really know how to forward e-mails? 50% of us do; 50% DO NOT!

Do you wonder why you get viruses or excessive amounts of junk mail (Spam)?
Do you hate it? Every time you forward an e-mail there is information left
over from the people who received the message before you and sent it to you,
namely their e-mail addresses and names. As the messages get forwarded
along, the list of addresses builds, and builds, and builds. All it takes is
for some poor sap to get a virus, and his or her computer can send that
virus to every e-mail address that has come across their computer. Or,
someone can take all of those addresses and send junk mail to them or sell
the addresses to spammers in the hope that you will go to the site and they
will make five cents for each hit that they sell. That's right, all of that
inconvenience over a nickel and because someone included visible e-mail
addresses in their forwarded message!

How do you stop it? Well, there are two easy steps:

1) When you Forward an e-mail, DELETE all of the other addresses that appear
in the body of the message (at the top). That's right, DELETE them.
Highlight them and delete them or backspace them or cut them -- whatever it
is that you know how to do. It only takes a second. You MUST click the
"Forward" button first though; then you will have full editing capabilities
for the body and headers of the message. If you don't click on "Forward"
first, you won't be able to edit the message at all.

(I find this a great time to correct spelling and remove, those pesty "send
this to 10 friends and your wish will come true" false promises. If the
message is very messy, drop it into Word or Wordpad/Notepad or whatever word
processor you use. Editing within a word processing program is much easier
than performing editing operations within the body of an e-mail message.)

(2) Whenever you send an e-mail to more than one person, DO NOT use the
'To:' or 'Cc:' options for adding e-mail addresses. Always use the BCC:
(Blind Carbon Copy) option for listing the e-mail addresses of the folks you
want to send the message to. This way the people you send to only see their
own e-mail address and no one else's. If you don't see your BCC: option,
click on where it says To: and your address list will appear. Highlight the
address and choose BCC: and that's it. It's that easy!!!

When you send to BCC: (and leave the To: line blank) your message will
automatically say "Undisclosed Recipients" in the "To:" field of the people
who receive it, providing extra security and privacy to all the people in
your Address Book.

(3) Remove any "FW:" in the subject line. You can re-name the subject if you
wish or even correct spelling.

(4) ALWAYS hit your Forward button from the actual e-mail you are reading.
Ever get those e-mails that you have to open 10 or 15 or 20 FW: pages to
read the one page with the information on it? By Forwarding from the actual
final page you wish someone to view, prevent their having to open multiple
e-mails just to see what you sent. (Many people will not open all those
emails for fear of getting a virus; so your message may go unread.)

Have you ever received an email that is a petition? It states a position and
asks you to add your name and address and to forward it to a number of
people or your entire Address Book. The email can be forwarded on and on and
can collect thousands of names and email addresses.

FACT: The completed petition is actually worth a couple of bucks to a
professional spammer because of the wealth of valid names and email
addresses contained therein. If you want to support the petition, send it as
your own personal letter to the intended recipient(s). Your position may
carry more weight as a personal letter than a laundry list of names and
email address on a petition - and, again, you will protect the privacy of
those in your Address Book and provide them additional security against
viruses and spammers.

Regarding petitions: Be aware that the government
(federal, state, and local) and most legitimate organizations completely
disregard email petitions. In order for a petition to have value and be
acted upon, it is necessary to have LIVE, verifiable signatures, usually
with the signer's legitimate mailing address.

So please, in the future, let's stop the junk mail and the viruses by
working together and respecting the privacy and security of one another.

Finally, here's an idea!!! Let's send this to everyone we know (but PLEASE
strip my address out first). This is something that SHOULD be forwarded!

This email was cleaned by emailStripper, available for free from

No virus found in this outgoing message.
Checked by AVG Free Edition.
Version: 7.5.503 / Virus Database: 269.17.1/1181 - Release Date: 12/11/2007
5:05 PM

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