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Business Email Address Privacy

Professionals respect the privacy of their business email contacts.

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

Let’s use this analogy…

This is conducive to taking your contact’s phone number and giving it to strangers. Strangers who they don’t know.

Strangers who may use their phone number to contact them about something they are 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, where you are trying to promote trust and reliability.

Yet, every day we receive messages or forwarded emails from well-intentioned business contacts listing all those they are sending to in the To: field. Visible to others they have not met or do not know.

If you do this and are thinking, “no big deal,” — it 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 completely disregarding their privacy, not to mention putting your lack of tech-savvy on display for all to see.

Handling Unnecessary Exposure

Whenever you send 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 inquiries from business onliners who have been on the receiving end of such emails. 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 okay to email all the other people about my business or service whose address is in the To: field along with mine?”

So as you can see, contacts do not appreciate their email addresses being made public without their permission. Some 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 emails.

Part of this problem is the BCc: is not readily visible with some programs. Sometimes, 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 BCc: field 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!

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