Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Please Stop, Think, Check before Forwarding E-mails

Ok, we've all gotten them those emails that ask you to forward to everyone on your email list. For the most part these are kind hearted people just wanting to warn or inform their friends and family of 'problems' or 'concerns'. But are they really helping anyone?

NO - in fact they are creating more problems. First of all the majority of these warnings are hoaxes - not true or have no truth behind them so you've caused concern in your friends for nothing. A great place to check these emails is . It's really simple to check the honesty behind a 'please forward' or 'PLEASE send a copy to' email.

Just copy a portion of the email and paste it into the search feature on Snopes. The most recent I received I took from the first line of the email "IF A PERSON CALLED SIMON ASHTON" (without the quotes). Then click on the “GO!” button. That will take you to a second page with a list of articles. For this search there were two articles on the list and the very top one was the exact same email I received. By clicking on that you can read the full information on this forwarded email - . The red button with FALSE next to it tells me NOT to forward this email.

A second problem forwarding these emails causes is the majority of people who do forward these messages don't bother to do it 'privately'. These means the next person who receives the message now has access to all the email addresses you sent it to as well as the people the person who sent it to YOU sent it to and so on. Not saying everyone is going to do this but there are many people on the net that make money by selling 'email address lists'.

Do you want your email address as well as all of your friends and families' addresses to be sold to strangers for a fraction of a cent and receive 1000s of unwanted emails? Most likely NOT. Please, when forwarding anything use the BCC (blind carbon copy) feature offered by most email systems - you can still send to more than one person but those peoples' email addresses are kept private.

Before you click that 'forward' button consider are you helping your friends and family by sending them this email or are you merely creating more problems for them.

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