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Keep Email Addresses Private

posted 6 Jun 2012, 02:46 by Alistair Hamilton   [ updated 6 Sep 2012, 00:52 ]
As a business, I frequently give out my business card, as you'd expect. Handing over my business card, and therefore my email address, does not imply that the recipient has been given my permission to distribute my email address to everyone in their address book, yet this has been happening recently.

It has been happening simply because those people do not have any idea how to use their email client properly.

If you have a need to send an email to many people, by sticking all the email addresses in the 'To:' field of the email, then everyone of those addressees will see the email address of every addressee. This is potentially violating their privacy.

If you are a business, particularly one dealing with the public, be very careful of using the 'To:' field when sending an email to groups of your customers in bulk. Aside from running the risk of being accused of spamming, you will, undoubtedly, be violating their privacy.

The simple way around this is to stick the addressees list in the blind carbon copy ('Bcc:') field when compiling the email. This way, each recipient only sees their own address and not those of every other addressee.

A simple solution that will not only make the resulting email appear to the recipient as being personal to them, but it will keep everyone happy who hasn't given you permission to pass on their email address.

The other message to be put over here is one of education. Please make sure you, and your staff, know how to use the software tools being used, rather than run the risk of doing something that you/they might regret.