Wednesday, April 1, 2009

PSA How to forward an email

I received a phone call last night from someone who I did not know. She said, "I'm sorry if this is a weird call." Well, it was and it wasn't a weird call. She told me that she grew up in the town where I live. (Not weird) but how she got my phone number was weird. She received an email from a friend that had been forwarded to her. My name, email and phone number was included in the email. She called me because she knew a Beverly from her high school (in my town) and wondered if it was me. Well, no, not me.

The point is my email and phone # (I put in in my signature for email) was transmitted with my information and about 100 others as the email was forwarded. Now, my son taught me how to forward email without all that information and that is what I do. However, many people (obviously) do not.

Yesterday, I received an email from a friend in Florida that basically summarizes the correct (and polite) way to forward emails. I thought I'd share it with you all. Feel free to send it on to others who could use the information.

You probably already know most of the following article, but you probably have some friends that do not.
A friend who is a computer expert received the following directly from a system administrator for a corporate system. It is an excellent message that ABSOLUTELY
applies to ALL of us who send e-mails.
Please read the short letter below, even if you're sure you already follow proper procedures.
Please share it with your email buddies!
Do you really know how to forward e-mails? Most of us DO NOT know how.
Do you wonder why you get viruses or junk mail? Do you hate it?
Every time you forward an e-mail, there is information left over from the people who got the message before you -- namely their e-mail addresses & names.
As the messages get forwarded along, the list of addresses builds, and builds, and builds, and all it takes is for some poor sap to get a virus, and his
or her computer can send that virus to every email address that has come across his computer. Or, someone can take all of those addresses and sell them
or send junk mail to them in the hopes that you will go to the site and he will make five cents for each hit. That's right, all of that inconvenience over
a nickel!
How do you stop it? Well, there are several easy steps:
(1) When you forward an e-mail, DELETE all of the other addresses that appear in the body of the message (at the top). That's right, DELETE them. Highlight
them and delete them, backspace them, cut them, whatever you know how to. It only takes a second. You MUST click the 'Forward' button first and then
you will have full editing capabilities against the body and headers of the message. If you don't hit the forward button first you won't have full editing
functions . I particularly dislike having to scroll through 200 Email addresses before I get to the email.
(2) Whenever you send an e-mail to more than one person, do NOT use the 'To:' or 'Cc:' fields for adding e-mail addresses.. Always use the BCC: (blind carbon
copy) field for listing the e-mail addresses. This is the way the people you send to will only see their own e-mail address.
If you don't see your 'BCC:' option click on where it says To: and your address list will appear. Highlight the address and choose BCC: and that's it, it's
that easy. When you send to BCC: your message will automatically say 'Undisclosed Recipients' in the 'TO:' field of the people who receive it.
That way you aren't sharing all those addresses with every Tom, Dick or Harry.
(3) Remove any 'FW:' in the subject line. You can re-name the subject if you wish or even fix spelling.
This one is very important - please read and heed
(4) ALWAYS hit your Forward button from the actual e-mail you are reading. Ever get those e-mails that you have to open 10 pages to read the one page with
the information on it? By Forwarding from the actual page you wish someone to view, you stop them from having to open many e-mails just to see what you
sent. These are the ones that often end up having picked up a virus from somebody. This is really important!
(5) Have you ever gotten an email that is a petition? It states a position and asks you to add your name and address and to forward it to 10 or 15 people
or your entire address book. The email can be forwarded on and on and can collect thousands of names and email addresses.
A FACT: The completed petition is actually worth a couple of bucks to a professional spammer because of the wealth of valid names and email addresses contained
therein. If you want to support the petition, send it as your own personal letter to the intended recipient. Your position may carry more weight as a personal
letter than a laundry list of names and email address on a petition. (Actually, if you think about it, who's supposed to send the petition in to whatever
cause it supports? And don't believe the ones that say that the email is being traced, it just isn't so!)
(6) One of the main ones I hate is the ones that say that something like, 'Send this email to 10 people and you'll see something great run across your screen.'
Or, sometimes they'll just tease you by saying something really cute will happen.
IT AIN'T GONNA HAPPEN!!!!! (Trust me, I'm still seeing some of the same ones that I waited on 10 years ago!) I don't let the bad luck ones scare me either,
they get trashed. (Could this be why I haven't won the lottery??)
(7) Before you forward an Amber Alert, or a Virus Alert, or some of the other ones floating around nowadays, check them out before you forward them. Most
of them are junk mail that's been circling the net for Years!
Just about everything you receive in an email that is in question can be checked out at "Snopes" or "Truth or Fiction". Just go to
It's really easy to find out if it's real or not. If it's not, please don't pass it on.
So please, in the future, let's stop the junk mail and the viruses.
Finally, here's an idea!!! Let's send this to everyone we know (but strip my address off first, please).
This is something that SHOULD be forwarded.



  1. Hello Beverly,

    What you have there is absolutely true and something I promote whenever I get emails like that. Being an IT Professional, I run in to this same sort of thing almost daily. I urge anyone that has read this to follow the directions to a T. Especially the Snopes or TruthOrFiction web sites. They can save you the trouble of wasting your time with these phony emails.

    Thank you for sharing this Beverly.

    God Bless,
    Joe Austin

  2. Thanks for the tips, Bev. I rarely if ever forward an e-mail (because I hate getting them). But if I ever need to, I'll be sure to reread your post and make sure I do it correctly.

  3. Excellent post! I've lost count of the number of emails I've received where the story was not checked with SNOPES. That's how misinformation gets spread. I also loathe chain letters although many people now know to ignore them.

  4. One of my BIG pet peeves - mind if I post this myself??

  5. Oh - and I work in I.T. but I did not know you could send to everybody you want using BCC - I never really thought about it I guess. I think I must have thought you had to have at least one "to" person!!

  6. Bev, I have one or two "forward-happy" friends who include EVERYONE they know in the CC line -- I like the method of putting others in the BCC line, but most of all, I like the fact that the author is really telling people to THINK before they forward. Great post!