Don’t Show Your E-mail List to the World

I often get emails from acquaintances in which I’m one of dozens of email addresses in the TO: or CC: address box. Maybe it doesn’t matter that every recipient sees every other recipient’s e-mail address, but then again, sometimes it does. Privacy concerns alone should make this a practice to avoid.

Recently I got an e-mail from a Madison area sales rep for a phone company. He was sending a personalized announcement of some specials to his clients and prospects. Good idea, except that I noticed that he had all his contacts for the world to see in the message’s CC: box.

Sure enough, an hour later someone hit “reply to all” and all this poor guy’s contacts got to read a message ripping his company and asking to be taken off the list because the company had messed up their bill and they had cancelled and gone with another phone service and will never do business with them again — and on and on.

The way to avoid that, of course, is to use the BCC: (Blind copy) box for the multiple e-mail addresses you want to conceal. Put your own e-mail address in the To: box, since an address is required for that field.

Any readers have similar horror stories? (Or other tips for avoiding e-mail gaffes?) Please leave your comment below.