You've just gotten a brand new email address. No spammers have found you. How great! You promise yourself not to sign up at any sites that don't promise to keep your email address confidential, so you don't start getting hit with piles of spam. Good move! You've only given out this email address to a few, special people...maybe a few friends and family members. You want to protect at least this one email address from getting piled up with junk mail. Yes, you're on the right track.
And then...there it is. You open your email one day and see a joke email from one of your good friends or family members and they've added your email address right there in the To input box...along with a dozen of their other friends. That's it...it's over! All your hard work to keep a clean email address is over because some inconsiderate @#$%^*! put your email address right out there for everyone to see.
Worse! They put it in a joke email to other people you don't know. And you just know that one of those friends will pass that joke along to a dozen of their friends and one of those friends will pass it along to their friends. Before you know it, your email address will be getting blasted around the world over and over...and your address is right there, in plain sight for anyone to harvest.
Before long...it starts! You start getting hit with spam, even though you did everything you could to protect this new email address. Kiss your efforts goodbye!<sigh>
So why did this happen? Because so many people don't take the time to protect your address by simply putting it in a blind email field. No, that's just too much effort for them! And if taking a moment to add your name to a blind input box in an email is too much effort for them, you know they won't take the time to remove all the hundreds of other email addresses that have already piled up in the email. So this one joke now carries with it the names and email addresses of hundreds of real people.
Exactly what spammers are looking for so they can harvest all those names to add to their spammer databases and then sell your email address to other spammers!
If only your friends would have taken a few seconds to protect you...you would still be spam free. All they had to do was add your email address into the BCC (Blind Courtesy Copy) field in an email.
In Outlook, you can open a new email and click View > Bcc Field to enable this input field in all future emails. I'm sure most every other email program also has a BCC field. If you don't see it, check the Help files for your program, or ask someone!
This simple move, when sending jokes or other emails that will surely be forwarded over and over, will protect your friends and family from having their email address spread all over the Internet.
Just enter all their addresses into the BCC field when you're sending or forwarding jokes and other fun stuff to help ensure that, if someone mindlessly just forwards your joke on to others, at least those people you care about will be protected.
And if you get an email that already has a few dozen forwarded blocks of email addresses...take a moment to retrieve the actual joke content and drop it into a new email from you, with your friend's addresses hidden in the Bcc field. This will not only save all those other poor souls who are already listed from being passed around further...but, more importantly, it will save your friends/family from having to wade through a ton of address labels just to get to your message.
Did you know that some email programs don't just get added to the bottom, but rather, they are wrapped up in their own email envelope and added to the new forward as an attachment. This means that some people will receive a joke email that has another email attached to it. They need to open that email to continue. Then that email has yet another email attached to it. They open that one only to find that they have yet another email attachment! Like those cute, little Russian dolls...you need to keep opening one to pull out another that you have yet to open. Over and over it goes...until you finally get to the joke. AND IT WASN'T EVEN WORTH THE EFFORT!<sigh>
Not only is this a gigantic waste of time and a very inconsiderate way to send email, but it can be very dangerous to the recipient. If they go through all the processes to open email after email after email just to get to the original comment...they may get into a rhythm and not realize that all this clicking gets them to a potentially dangerous attachment that, when opened, can add a virus or spyware to their computer!
The next time you get an email from some inconsiderate slob who is just clicking forward to all the junk they get in their email basket so that now all that junk is in your email basket...as well as your email address being passed all over cyberspace...feel free to send them the link to this article.
With any luck they'll read it and recognize their own actions in this article. With even more luck...they might wise up and take a moment to become a considerate member of the Internet community! We can only hope!
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