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Best email practice

01 Jan 2011

These rules should be circulated among your staff, in the hope that they’ll avoid some common email blunders:

  • Turn off the address autofill function.
  • If auto address must be used, be sure the email is going to the right person before hitting Send.
  • When forwarding emails, forward only the content the recipient needs to see. Delete long tails, and be sure there’s nothing in there that contains sensitive information not for the recipient’s eyes, or uncomplimentary remarks about the recipient or other people.
  • When sending emails to several people, ask yourself: does everyone need to know who else received this? Some recipients may be getting information in confidence. Best practice is to send blind copies (Bcc box) rather than plain view (Cc box).
  • If your email system’s rules allow it, create one that diverts any incoming emails with the word ‘Confidential’ in the subject line, to a special folder that is password-protected. This stops unauthorised viewing if the recipient leaves their email program open and unattended, or if they have someone else clearing their email while they’re on leave.