EMail addressing netiquette

Why you should never forward an email containing someone’s address

There are two main reasons why you should not forward an email containing someone else’s email address to anyone else:

Unless the person(s) you are forwarding to already know(s) it, you are violating the original sender’s privacy. Did they specifically permit you to broadcast their email address to anyone else?

Once the email is in someone’s inbox, it is a target for address harvesting viruses. Did you really want your original sender to receive viruses or spam from your correspondents?

It only takes a moment to delete the address from the email you are forwarding. While you’re at it you could clean up the formatting of the forward too … and don’t forget to be aware of how you address the email if sending to multiple correspondents:

If you send an email to multiple To: addresses, all the addresses you list are visible to all the recipients

If one of the addresses you send to fails, some mail servers will send the notification back to all the To: addressees. Including the one it failed to. Which can not be delivered so it will be sent out again … and again …Whole mail servers and even company systems have been brought down this way.Using the cc: is not much better. It will avoid the loop risk, but you are still broadcasting all the addresses to everyone.

The correct netiquette way to do this is to send the email to yourself and Bcc: (Blind carbon copy – that’s what it’s for) everyone else. Or use a list created either in your mail client or on the mail server.