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Forwarding E-mails

Friday, September 29th, 2006 by | Filed Under: E-Mail Help
 
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Q:
I like to send my friends a lot of forwards through e-mail, but I’m afraid there’s too much extra information in them before they’re sent. How can I delete some of that to make it all an even safer process?

A:
This is a very good question and it’s great that you’re thinking about this type of thing. When it comes to e-mailing, you may not realize how much personal information is shared between people. This is especially true when you’re forwarding e-mails. People you don’t even know may have access to your e-mail address and vice versa. If someone slacks just a little, problems with e-mail spam could hit you before you can even blink your eyes.

So, you may be wondering how this information gets out to other people. Well, when you forward an e-mail you received from someone else, their e-mail address is still contained in the e-mail. You didn’t think of that, did you? And when your friend sends it to 10 of their friends, your e-mail address remains in the e-mail and it’s distributed to those people (and probably more) in no time. As long as the e-mail continues to be forwarded, your e-mail address is at risk.

The best thing to do to keep addresses safe is clean up every e-mail before you send it off. You want to share the e-mail with other people, not the e-mail addresses already in it, so it’s best to remove all the existing e-mail addresses from the forwarding message. I know some forwards are rather long, but take some time to browse through it and delete any e-mail addresses you see. The person getting the e-mail only needs to see your address and their own.

You can then inform your friends and family members to do the same thing when they forward e-mails. They might want to send the one you sent them to another person, so make sure they know to remove your address before sending it. This will prevent your e-mail address from being spread out to everyone, even strangers! Sounds like a good idea, doesn’t it?!

Of course, there may be a few times you need to keep certain things in an e-mail, such as an important discussion between you and a few other friends. If that is an ongoing e-mail, it makes no sense to delete the addresses each time. Usually when you do something like that, you know everyone involved, so it’s generally safe, but always be careful in other situations. You can also clean up your forwards by removing all the carets (>>>) that appear. Read here for some more help on doing that.

Practicing all of these procedures will help to keep you and all your forwarding friends extra safe in the wide world of e-mail! Now, go read those funny forwards and laugh the rest of the day away!

~ Erin

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