No Forwarding Please

Every day this week, it has seemed like I’m doing stuff that I should have been doing the day before. Somehow things (read: me) got one day behind on everything. Of course, I sort of know why. James took Valentine’s Day off and well, hey, we decided it was a quasi-unofficial holiday. It was wonderful day, but I’ve been paying for all that relaxation since.

In more nerdy news, apparently AOL users had a distressing result when they tried last week’s tip about deleting extra names off a forwarded e-mail. AOL, in its infinite wisdom, doesn’t let you do that. It deletes the entire e-mail instead. (I could rant about how I feel about AOL, but I’ll try and control myself.) In any case, the workaround is to take the opposite approach. Instead of deleting the extraneous header information, just copy out the body of the e-mail (minus the 7,000 e-mail addresses), create a brand new e-mail, paste the text, and send.

However, with that said, another reader wrote in to point out that identity theft is yet another reason not to forward extra e-mail addresses on to other people. Eventually, the e-mail with the addresses can end up on a public newsgroup where nefarious people can pick up your e-mail address. If you have your place of work listed in your signature, it can be fairly easy for an enterprising individual to figure out far more information about you than you want them to know.

I read another thing that had never occurred to me. Sometimes these endlessly forwarded messages can be wrongly attributed. For example, various fake e-mails about lost children have been circulated for years. If your signature is automatically attached, it can appear that an e-mail is from you, when it’s not. People have had to put disclaimers on Web sites, change their e-mail address, and phone numbers when a widely circulated e-mail was wrongly attributed.

So the bottom line is the Forward button is a useful thing. But use it with care. And don’t send stuff to me. I get way too much e-mail as it is.

About Susan Daffron

Susan Daffron is the author the Alpine Grove Romantic Comedies and multiple award-winning nonfiction books, including several about pets and animal rescue. Check out all her books on her Amazon Author page.