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1001 Computer Words You Need to Know$
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Jerry Pournelle

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780195167757

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780195167757.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 17 October 2021

The Ten Worst E-mail Mistakes

The Ten Worst E-mail Mistakes

(p.76) The Ten Worst E-mail Mistakes
1001 Computer Words You Need to Know

Jerry Pournelle

Oxford University Press

Anyone who uses e-mail should avoid the following mistakes: Giving confidential information in an unsecured e-mail. Your credit card number, for instance, can easily be sent throughout the world. It’s best to send credit-card information only through secure Web sites. See “How to Shop Safely Online” on p.143. Opening attachments from strangers. Never open an e-mail that has an attachment that is vague or says “Check this out!” A virus may spread by invading the contact list on a computer and sending itself to every e-mail address on the list. Opening unsolicited e-mail without first scanning for viruses. There are several free anti-virus programs available, and they should be updated regularly. Hitting “reply” to an unsolicited e-mail when asking to be taken off the sender’s list. By hitting “reply” you may be opening up your account to a deluge of spam. Hitting “reply all” when only the sender needs a response. Does everyone really need to know your reply? Think before you reply, especially if the e-mail was sent to a very large group. Forwarding hoaxes or jokes. Most people get too much e-mail, and they would prefer a real note from you, not a hoary joke or, worse, a scaremongering urban legend or false charity scam. If something sounds too good (or too shocking) to be true, it probably is. Check the web for information before you send something on; http://www.snopes.com is a great site for checking stories. Sending an e-mail without a signature. It’s helpful to include at least your name and e-mail address at the bottom of your message, especially if you are e-mailing someone for the first time. Don’t use a vCard (virtual business card). It may be mistaken for a virus. Sending an e-mail without spell-checking it. Most e-mail systems spell-check as you type or have a “spell-check before sending” setting. Sending large files or pictures. Don’t clog up your recipient’s mailbox—ask before sending big files. Sending e-mail without a “subject” line or with a vague subject line. Be specific.A subject that reads “Looking forward to dinner Saturday!” will get more attention than one that reads “hi” or “see you soon?” A blank subject line may get no attention at all.

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