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Don't Brush Off Privacy!

Do you show a blatant disregard for your contact's privacy? How would you feel if your contacts whether business or personal, decided to take your phone number and give it out to strangers? Stranger's who you don't know! Strangers who may use your phone number to contact you about something you're not interested in or worse yet, who may sell your phone number to telemarketing companies to do the same.

The same thing happens with e-mail addresses every single day. We've all had this happen to us and it's not O.K. Each day we receive messages or forwarded e-mail from well intentioned onliners listing all those they are sending to in the To: field. And by doing so they are visibly displaying their contact's e-mail addresses to strangers!

If you do this and are thinking "no big deal" you are so wrong! If the only thing all the folks you are sending to have in common is you, you have breached your contact's privacy by publicizing their e-mails to people they don't know. Talk about showing a complete disregard for their privacy not to mention your lack of tech savvy!

Whenever you are sending to a group of onliners, put your e-mail address in the To: field and everyone else's in the Bcc: field and protect their e-mail addresses from unnecessary exposure. Through my e-mail etiquette site, www.NetManners.com, I get inquires on a daily basis from folks who have been on the receiving end of such e-mail and there are two issues they ask me about:

  1. How do I let this person know I don't appreciate them publicizing my e-mail address to people I don't know? What were they thinking!?

  2. Is it O.K. to e-mail all the other people whose address is in the To: field along with mine about my business or service?

So as you can see, your contacts not only do not appreciate their e-mail addresses being made public without their permission but there are those that assume they can then spam those addresses because they are visible! By not respecting your contact's privacy you are in fact opening them up to additional unwanted e-mail.

Part of this problem is the Bcc: is not in your face with some programs. In some cases it isn't easy find and you have to search for the Bcc: option. I use Eudora where the Bcc: field is visible just waiting for you to put in e-mail addresses. However, for other software and Web based sites, here is what you do:

First, start a new message, then:
  • In Outlook, if Bcc: isn't showing, create a message, and from the View menu, click Bcc: Field.
  • In Outlook Express, click View >All Headers.
  • In Netscape, click the TO: button, then double-click Bcc:.
  • In AOL, put the Bcc: addresses in the "Copy To" box, using parentheses and separating each address with a comma.
  • In Yahoo!, click Add Bcc:.

The Bcc: feature should be used when e-mailing a bunch of onliners who don't know each other because you don't want to publish other's e-mail addresses without their permission.

Show you "get it" and respect your contact's privacy! Wherever Bcc: may hide, find it and use it!

About the Author:
Judith Kallos is an authoritative and good-humored Technology Muse who has played @ for over a decade. Check out her popular and eBook : .

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