Tips for You

Email Etiquette

One of my pet peeves is when people send emails to a group of people and do not bother to take a few minutes to hide the email addresses of everyone who is sent the message. Not only is it bad form to show everyone’s email address, but it’s also an invasion of privacy, not to mention opening up the door to more Spam (unsolicited emails from people you do not know).

Within every email program* there is a BCC: field (blind carbon copy is what it stands for). In the days before the Internet, when copies of a letter were sent to someone other than the addressee, the last line of the letter showed a CC: (carbon copy). The person being copied was listed. A BCC: was not listed on the original letter but others did receive a copy. The same is true of emails.

When sending a message to more than one person, particularly people who do not know each other and would have no reason to know someone else’s email address, it is proper and preferred that the BCC: field be used instead of the TO: field. This way, everyone gets the email as if they were the only person to receive it and no one else need know who else got the same message.

*NOTE for AOL users:

While I do not personally use AOL, I know plenty of people who do, and understand that AOL does not have a dedicated BCC field.  But here’s how AOL users can send an email to more than one person via BCC — simply place addresses and screen names in the CC field surrounded by parentheses.  For example: (,

Failing to use the common courtesy of the BCC field is one of the many signs of a NEWBIE online.  So let’s get you beyond that stage today, agreed?

And About Those Emails Urging You to Forward to Everyone . . .

Before forwarding any emails that urge you to send the message to everyone you know, FIRST verify whether the message is legitimate, or if it’s an urban legend or hoax.   You can easily check either or both of these sites:

Just use their search box and chances are good you’ll come up with something.

If you do, and the message is NOT true, then don’t waste time forwarding such emails!  Not only is it annoying to receive these emails, but it makes the sender of the message look uninformed.

Do people a favor who send you such emails . . . let them know the message they sent is false.  Maybe if enough people get in the habit of telling others to at least check those sites FIRST, then we can all cut down on the unnecessary clutter in our Inboxes.

Just call this my own personal Public Service Announcement.

Want to learn HTML?

I wrote a post HERE that you might find helpful.

Secure vs. Unsecure Websites

Do you know the difference between http:// and https:// ? It’s all about keeping you secure.

HTTP stands for HyperText Transport Protocol, which is just a fancy way of saying it’s a language for information to be passed back and forth between web servers and clients. The important thing is the letter “S” which makes the difference between HTTP and HTTPS. The S stands for “Secure”.

If you visit a website or web page, and look at the address in the web browser, it will likely begin with http://. This means that the website is talking to your browser using the regular ‘unsecure’ language. In other words, it is possible for someone to “eavesdrop” on your computer’s conversation with the website. If you fill out a form on the website, someone might see the information you send to that site.

But if the web address begins with https://, that means your computer is talking to the website in a secure code that no one can eavesdrop on. So before entering any sensitive information, such as banking details or your credit card number, be sure you look to see if the web address begins with https://.  If the website doesn’t have that “S” at the end of http:// and you need to enter your credit card or other information you do not want to be compromised, then see if you can add the “S” to http:// and reload the page before entering that sensitive information.