Join Jess Stratton for an in-depth discussion in this video Checking emails for contact info before sending, part of Learning Computer Security and Internet Safety.
- We've all gotten email forwards like this. It comes from somebody and you have to scroll through a long list of everybody that that email was sent to to find out what the actual body of the email is. Now, sometimes you can just discard the message, you don't want it, but sometimes, like this one who is trying to support a local business person, you genuinely might want to send it out to lots of people that you know. If you want to do that, there's a few things that you can keep in mind to protect the email addresses of the person that you received it from and all the people that you're going to send it to.
The first thing we're going to do, and I'm using Gmail for this example, is click Forward, because we are going to forward this along to more people. It's going to pop up a new window. The first thing I need to do is put my cursor in the body of the email. Even though it's a forward, I can still delete any part of this email that I want to. I can also add to it. So, in addition to typing a message saying, "I thought you might be interested in this", I can also remove all the previous header information, email addresses, and text, of the prior people that have been sent to.
This is a courtesy in allowing other people to not have to scroll through it, as well as protecting their privacy. So, I can come through and delete all this text, but there's one more thing. Even when you get to the body of your email message, be sure to look a little bit below that because you might find that the person who sent it to you originally may have a signature file, and that signature file, which could contain their contact information, it's a file that automatically gets appended to the bottom of every email without them having to type it, because it appends to the bottom of the email, after all the body text, it's very easy to miss and it's easy to forget about when you're removing other people's contact informations from emails.
So, always take your time and make sure you scroll to the very bottom and delete any lingering contact information that may have been appended to the bottom of who originally sent it out. Now, we're left with a brand new, clean email that only contains the element that we actually want to send and now I can put in my own text. It's time to choose the recipients of the email. Instead of pasting all my recipients into the To field, I'm going to put them into the BCC field which stands for Blind Carbon Copy.
This is going to send out a copy to multiple people, however, they're going to be blind to who else I'm sending it to. As far as they're concerned, I'm sending it just to them. This protects the email addresses of everybody that I'm sending it to. Every email program is going to be different. In Gmail, you can activate the Blind Carbon Copy field by clicking BCC all the way on the right-hand side. If I click that field, it's going to become a field that I can then populate with my email addresses.
In this case, I can paste them right in. Now there's a long list of email addresses, they won't know who I'm sending it to, there's no contact information, and there's no lengthy email to scroll through. It's a very nice, clean, responsible way to send out an email and everybody will appreciate it.
- Installing updates
- Using antivirus software and protecting against viruses
- Enabling Windows Firewall
- Using password-management software
- Encrypting files that contain sensitive data
- Securing your router and protecting the SSID
- Understanding the signs of a secure website
- Checking settings for Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, and Safari
- Unsubscribing from email subscriptions
- Reviewing site privacy settings
- Browsing on a public computer
- Understanding cookies
- Protecting other people's names and locations
- Fact-checking email warnings