What if all email was public?

Many people think when they send an email to a friend, coworker or enemy, that email is between the two of them.

How would your email habits change if all emails were public to everyone? The email where you write how much you hate your boss would be available to be seen by your coworkers AND YOUR BOSS. The email where you discuss your financial statements would be available to your employees, your competitors and the IRS. The email about your mistress would be available to your mistress, your spouse and the divorce lawyers.

The thing that most people don’t realize is eventually, most email is public. This isn’t about “big brother” spying on us. It’s not about Google reading all emails to gmail accounts. When you send an email to an individual, you can typically control who it is sent to (the reason I write “typically” is if you are like me, you have occasionally sent an email to the wrong person by mistake). However, as soon as you send that email, you have lost all control. You can’t control who the receiver sends it on to. You can’t control if their email address is a shared address. You can’t control if their computer gets stolen or hacked.

When you send your next email, truly give some thought to what you are writing. Would you be comfortable if that email was made available to the public? If you wouldn’t be comfortable with that happening, give some serious thought to whether you should be sending it in the first place because the reality is, when you hit “send” it is then available to many more people than you might hope

Have a great day!

Lawrence

2 Replies to “What if all email was public?”

  1. Excellent advice. I also advocate that people quit using pseudonyms for “forum chat”. (I realize that it’s different for women, but that’s a problem I’m not ready to tackle right now) I’ve been active online since before there was a web, and I’ve always used my real name for everything… therefore, I’ve rarely said anything that I regretted later. Behind that wall of anonymity, people get bold and say stupid things. One may simply regret it later… but one can also be called out if somebody is offended enough to look up your IP address.

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