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Business & Email Address Privacy

Do you show a blatant disregard for your contact’s privacy? Do you send emails with arm’s length of email addresses in the To: or Cc: field?

Let’s use this analogy…

This is conducive to taking your contact’s phone number and giving it out to strangers. Strangers who they don’t know! Strangers who may use their phone number to contact them about something they’re not interested in. Or worse yet, who may sell their phone number to telemarketing companies to do the same.

The same thing happens with email addresses every single day. We’ve all had this happen to us and it’s not okay. Particularly when it comes to business and you are trying to promote trust and reliability. Each day we receive messages or forwarded emails from well intentioned business contacts listing all those they are sending to in the To: field.

If you do this and are thinking “no big deal” — it sort of is a big deal. If the only thing all those addresses you are sending to have in common is you, you have breached your contact’s privacy by publicizing their emails to people they don’t know. Talk about showing a complete disregard for their privacy not to mention your lack of tech savvy!

Sending to Multiple Contacts

Whenever you are sending to a group of onliners that do not know each-other, put your email address in the To: field. Then, input the additional addresses in the Bcc: field to protect their email addresses from unnecessary exposure.

I get inquires all the time from business onliners who have been on the receiving end of such email. There are two issues they ask me about:

“How do I let this person know I don’t appreciate them publicizing my email address to people I don’t know? What were they thinking!?”

“Is it O.K. to email 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 do not appreciate their email addresses being made public without their permission. There are also 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 email.

Part of this problem is the BCc: is not readily visible with some programs. In some cases it isn’t easy to find and you have to search for the BCc: option. I use PostBox where I can choose to make the the BCc: field is visible. However, for other software and Web based sites, you may have to do some poking around.

Find the BCc: and Use It

The BCc: feature should be used when emailing a group of contacts who don’t know each other. You don’t want to publish email addresses without permission.

Show you “get it” and respect your contact’s privacy! Wherever BCc: may hide, find it and use it!

Go ahead and share!