Ask Leo: Think hard before hitting ‘Forward’. Then think again.


By Leo Notenboom

When forwarding an email, what risks or problems are there when all of the prior email addresses are included?

Well, first of all, I want you to make sure that you really want to forward that email. If it’s something that’s pages and pages of email addresses followed by some content, it sure does feel like it might be an urban legend that shouldn’t be forwarded at all.

But, assuming that the email is something to legitimately forward, it all boils down to a couple of things:

Spam and privacy.

Forwards of forwards

The most common situation is an email that’s been forwarded several times:

From: [email protected]

Subject: Fw: Cautionary Tale

To: [email protected], [email protected], [email protected]

This is important, be sure to read, and spread the word:

From: [email protected]

Subject: Fw: Cautionary Tale

To: [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected]


From: [email protected]

Subject: Fw: Cautionary Tale

To: a huge long list of email addresses…

Finally, maybe, that “Cautionary Tale”.

You get the idea. Before you even get to see the body of the original email, you see a long list of Froms, Tos and often Ccs that include the email addresses and often the names of everyone that the email had been sent to prior to reaching you.

It goes without saying that it’s at least annoying to have to wade through all of that to get to the meat of the message.

But that’s not the real problem.

Article Continued Here

This post is excerpted with Leo’s permission from his blog.

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