Through the years of internet progress, the use of E-mail that once was luxury is now not just a necessary but it has come to a point where it’s used so casually that people are now careless and couldn’t care less on the ripple resulted.
Stop using TO / CC!
Many do not realize that the reason they get a lot of spam, is simply because of using the TO column in the E-mail.
See, if you wish to send to a lot of people – put them in the BCC column instead. Send multiple times if you have to. Just don’t use TO column when you’re sending to a lot of people.
Why? TO section will display ALL the recipients in that section. This applies to the CC section as well. If you’re at work and you need to send it to your boss and CC to your finance manager, that’s fine – that’s what it’s used for – transparency at work.
However if you’re just sending non-important mail that contains information, or just some funny or interesting thing to share to others – by all means, just use the BCC column.
When you use the TO and CC – you’re opening 2 most common gateway for spam.
Firstly – it discloses ALL recipients to the rest of the world. So if the E-mail is forwarded, then more and more people will have hold of those E-mail address. If ever you wonder how did spammers get your E-mail address, then this is your answer – you either sent something, or you were part of a recipient list. Let’s not forget that it’s a breach of privacy too.
Here’s what I received today….I blurred the E-mail address of the recipients but I hope it gives you an idea on how bad it could be.
Secondly – by being disclosed to all, it also means that virus could actually get hold of it and use it for spam purpose, this is especially true if the recipient was on software like Microsoft Outlook, a virus or malware could just attempt to read the E-mail data and use it to send E-mails.
Basically – If you don’t like spam, do you think others like it? So try not bring spam to your friends, it’s good that you like to share but you could either ask their permission first OR just put them in the BCC list.
Web-based E-mail accounts just as Yahoo! Mail, Google Mail (Gmail), Hotmail and many others are basically the safe ones from virus and malwares, I don’t recall any that actually reads web-address from Web-based E-mails but that doesn’t mean they’re not open to prying eyes that are ever ready to increase their E-mail recipient database.
Spam – A Costly Affair
I used to be industry of providing hospitals, government bodies, education institutions and corporate organizations with anti-spam solutions. During those days, I spend hours viewing the log and I had to configure the system to optimally handle spam.
From what I observe, companies that practice strict policy on E-mail usage are the ones that incur less cost and have far less E-mail traffic compared to companies
So how Costly is costly? What I can disclose to you is that the spam problem costs such companies quite a lot each year, product purchase is time consuming as they require downtime for configuration when doing product testing. Once a product is selected, the purchase cost could be more than RM 100,000 and the yearly license can be of any % of the purchase amount, I’d say usually around 5% to 25% range. 🙂
So take care of your friends and family, help them reduce spam by using BCC instead of TO or CC. In doing so, at least you’re the only one who’s at risk of getting spam – not your recipients.
Food for thought – You send to 50 recipients, and imagine that 50 recipients forward the E-mail to another 50 uniqure recipients. Imagine how long is the list of E-mails made available to the world. 🙂