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Email 101

emailOK, you think you’ve got email mastered. Even if you cannot do much else with a computer you can at least send and reply to email. But did you know that a few of the habits you have are putting other people’s email address at risk?

First, stop and think before you pass along the Money Bags email (or similar) –

It reads something like this – This August has 5 Fridays, 5 Saturdays and 5 Sundays all in one month. It happens only once in 823 years. – Stop and think. Every month that has 31 days has 5 occurrences of 3 days. If the month starts on a Friday, then it will be Friday, Saturday & Sunday!

If you are not sure if it is true, go to Snopes, a website that will verify or clarify many of these urban legends and hoaxes!

Second – resist hitting the FORWARD button! When you do this, you are not only sending the received email, but the email addresses of everyone else! If you were forwarded the email, form someone else, that email list gets quite long.  This is the main way email addresses get in wrong hands and risk getting hacked! Instead, copy ONLY the portion of the email that you deemed amusing, helpful and worth sharing. Paste this info into a new email.

Third – Rather than putting all of your contacts in the To: or Cc: field, put the emails in Bcc: Field! Blind carbon copy (although emails do not use carbon paper!) hides all email address placed there. That way if one of those recipients decides to forward the email or reply to all, only your address is there – not your friends!

Stop taxing your email by attaching large files! For those pictures or documents you would like to share, or need to access from another computer there are several solutions.

First is Google Docs. Did you know that you can upload any file 10GB or smaller? You can choose to convert the file to a Google Doc file, or upload as is. That means you can upload a Word, Publisher, InDesign or any file type. In addition, you can also upload an entire folder. Once uploaded, you can share this file by clicking the “Share” button and adding the person’s email address.

Another free way is by using a program called Dropbox.  Dropbox starts by giving you 2GB free, but you can earn up to 18GB by referring others. The paid versions can give you up to 1TB of storage. I know dropbox sharing is easy because I recently shared pictures with my technology illiterate sister. She had no trouble accessing these – which is huge!

Both sites require that you to register, but both are easy to use and have desktop applications that allow you to drag and drop from your computer. Google does offers many other features besides file sharing, like calendars, email, creating documents and much more.

Whatever you use – stop attaching large files to your emails! your friends will thank you!


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