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E-Mail Tech-Traps

CT_techtraps_WO1. CC vs. BCC

The use of BCC is great for e-mails with long lists of recipients, for example company wide e-mails. When the recipients of the e-mail do not all necessarily know each other, the use of BCC is courteous. Not using BBC in this case could expose e-mail addresses to spam or other e-mails they do not wish to receive. Make sure you respect the privacy of your contact list, not everyone wants there e-mail address out there for everyone to use!

CC is best to use in e-mails where smaller groups of people are involved. You may want to CC a manger on an e-mail who needs a copy of the e-mail, but does not necessarily need to participate in the conversation. In this instance it would be important to use CC, so that all recipients know who is a part of the e-mail thread.

2. Reply vs. Reply All

Only use reply all when you are sure that your reply is essential information for everyone on the recipient list. Getting constant information that does not pertain to you can start to feel like spam in your inbox after a while. On the other hand, be sure to use reply all when working as a part of a group or team to ensure that everyone is receiving the same information.

3. Let's start fresh

Continuing an e-mail thread back and forth is a simple and easy way of communication, but be careful not to take that thread too far. Replying back and forth is quick, but when starting a new topic it is appropriate to start a new e-mail as well. If you've been e-mailing back and forth with a co-worker regarding a meeting time, its time to start a new e-mail when you have a question about the project you've been working on. This keeps e-mails more organized and the recipients focused on the current subject of the e-mail.

4. Think about your subject line

A meaningful and poignant subject line is important and can be extremely helpful for recipients who sift through dozens of e-mails a day. For someone gazing through their inbox, a subject line that gets straight to the point saves them time. This is also you chance to convey the importance of your e-mail, so give the subject line more than just a quick thought before you hit send.

5. A right to privacy? Forget it!

Your e-mail at work belongs to your company, not to you. Your employer has the right to monitor and intercept you e-mail, to access e-mail you have received, even to retrieve from your computer's hard drive e-mail that you long ago dumped or deleted - and your employer is also free to act on what he or she finds. Sending proprietary company data to a friend is the same as stealing confidential documents from a file. And insulting bosses or the company in a e-mail note is the same as slapping them in the face. More companies are setting e-mail policies and communicating them to their workers. Some policies are actively communicated, but it's a mistake to assume that in the absence of a policy statement, you are free to use office e-mail as you like.

6. Don't accept packages from strangers

Computer security is more important today than ever before. Viruses can pop up anywhere in new and unexpected ways. While we cannot totally stop computer viruses and spam, there are somethings that can help to keep your computer safe.

  • Use virus protection software.
  • Avoid opening e-mail from people you don't know.
  • Never open an attachment

7. Keep an eye on your junk

Your junk e-mail folder is a great tool that keeps useless and potentially harmful e-mails out of your inbox, but don't forget about it altogether. Be sure to take a glance at your junk e-mail folder every few days. You never know what e-mails it may decide to filter out, and they could be important!