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Using "BCC" When You Forward an Email

Late one evening, while online, I received an IM (Internet message) from a gentleman who said he knew me through mutual pals online. We chatted for an hour or so before deciding to keep in touch, as we had so many things in common.

I eventually, after a week or so of knowing him, trusted him with my name (first name) and phone number. 

***

He told me that he spotted my screen name on a "Forward" that one of my friends had sent to some one else. My screen name is what attracted him. He then used the screen name of others on the list of forwards to acquaint himself with me and various others from our clique of friends. He also used the Member Directory (at AOL) to look up info about others on the list of forwards, so as not to look suspicious.

He said he felt it was the only way he would have the chance to get to know me, and the main attraction to me was "My Screen name" because he thought it was "sexy." I was upset, needless to say, as I had trusted this man with my personal info, such as phone number and name.

He also knew where I lived (thanks to the phone bill), and I was now his prey.

***

People, let me tell you something, this man had been stalking me for weeks and I had no idea. I walked, ate, slept and breathed in constant fear until he was finally arrested for stalking-

Not for stalking me.

Nope.

For stalking another woman who lived in Kendall, Florida.

I wanted to share this with you all. And yes, it is all true. Friends, when you forward things and you leave your friends' names out in plain view like that, you are putting them and yourself in what could be grave danger. I hope I have gotten this message across.

I have not even begun to mention his assault charges (rape, using deadly force) the detectives from Broward County and Kendall, FL uncovered on him while investigating his prior history.

People, please: be safe, be careful and use blind carbon copy (Bcc). This is NOT a joke and not a hoax.

Please Remember:

It is Important to remove all personal email when forwarding items from this, or any other list to individuals or other discussion groups (unless the message asks readers to contact them via email or phone).

Remember, a lot of us have a great deal of information in our sigs (signature files) that appear at the bottom of many of our messages.

In addition, the blind carbon copy (Bcc) option makes the individuals you send email to unseen by all other recipients.

E-mailers should also cut out email addresses from forwards when forwarding the message on. I know I have received unsolicited emails from individuals who have gotten my address via a forwarded message from this group. Although more annoying than serious, it could have been worse.

IT'S TRUE - IF YOU CARE ABOUT YOUR FRIENDS, CHANGE HOW YOU SEND E-MAIL. THIS IS A TRUE CONCERN OF MANY PEOPLE.

PAY ATTENTION, READ TO THE END.

Many times friends on e-mail ask me about me using the Bcc address on e-mails and commenting about my e-mails not having long lists of other e-mail addresses where the e-mail had been sent prior to me receiving it.

Please read all of this and you will understand why I do things the way I do. Also this is not a fake or ridiculous idea from a crank.

Do you wonder why you get viruses or junk mail? Do you hate it?

Every time you forward an e-mail there is information left over from the people that got the message before you - namely their e-mail addresses. As the messages get forwarded along, the list of addresses builds, and builds, and builds, and all it takes is for some poor sap to get a virus, and his computer can send that virus to every e-mail address that has come across his computer.

Or, someone can take all of those addresses and sell them or send junk mail to them in the hopes that you will go to the site and he will make five cents.

That's right, all of that inconvenience over a nickel.

How do you stop it?

Well, there are two easy steps:

1) When you forward an email, DELETE all of the other addresses that appear in the body of the message.

That's right, delete them. Highlight them; then delete them, backspace them, whatever it is you know how to do. It only takes a second.

2) Whenever you send an e-mail, don't use the "To:" or "Cc:" columns for adding email addresses. Use the "Bcc:" or "blind carbon copy" column for sending the message. This way the people that you send to only see their own email address.

If you don't see your "Bcc:" option, click on where it says "To:" and your address list will appear. Highlight the address and click "Bcc:". When you "select recipients" you can put the recipients in the "Bcc" box instead of the "To" box.

And that's it - it's that easy

This should be forwarded (MINUS my email address!) to everyone on your e-mail list who does not use "Bcc." And this should also confirm why you >should "clean-up" your e-mails.

Knowledge comes, but Wisdom lingers

About the above forwarded email....

This message is propagating via email. It advises users to utilize the Blind Carbon Copy (BCC) option when forwarding emails so that personal information is hidden from other possible email recipients.

It further relates the experience of one woman who was stalked by a stranger for weeks; the culprit was apparently attracted by the woman's screen name which appeared in the list of email addresses attached to a forwarded email. The hoax also claims that the stalker was arrested for stalking another woman in Florida, and was later found to be guilty of other serious crimes.

Investigation, however, reveals that no such case has ever transpired. The Florida Police Department could not produce the said record.

Although using the BCC option has its advantages, and instances of stalking do occur because of Internet interaction, the email cites an experience that is not supported by official records and thus, cannot be verified to be true.

Trend Micro requests that email users not forward this email, which is a hoax.

Note from Starwitch: The reason that someone made up a forwarded email to get the point across about using BCC is because people who send on forwards tend to believe anything they read in a forwarded email, so the author figured that you would believe this too. Point being, please don't be gullible and send forwarded emails to all of your friends and family simply because the email tells you to. (And please do not send them to me, thanks.)

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