Top E-Mail Security And Productivity Tips - InformationWeek

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11/28/2006
12:58 PM
Mitch Wagner
Mitch Wagner
Commentary
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Top E-Mail Security And Productivity Tips

ITsecurity has 99 tips for e-mail security and productivity, on subjects including etiquette, effectiveness, and mobile e-mail. Samples: "Don't forward chain letters. Just don't do it," "Rule 1 of email privacy: there is no true privacy," and "Don't use e-mail whe

ITsecurity has 99 tips for e-mail security and productivity, on subjects including etiquette, effectiveness, and mobile e-mail. Samples: "Don't forward chain letters. Just don't do it," "Rule 1 of email privacy: there is no true privacy," and "Don't use e-mail when you're angry."

Meanwhile, the New York Times has a strange article on the kinds of closers people put on their e-mail messages..

"Best" does have its fans, especially in the workplace, where it can be an all-purpose step up in warmth from messages that end with no sign-off at all, just the sender coolly appending his or her name.

"I use 'Best' for all of my professional e-mails," said Kelly Brady, a perky publicist in New York. "It's friendly, quick and to the point."

Because people read so much into a sign-off, said Richard Kirshenbaum, chief creative officer of the advertising firm Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners, he has thought deeply about his preferred closing to professional correspondence, "Warmly, RK." He did not want something too emotional, like "Love," or too formal, like "Sincerely." " 'Warmly' fell comfortably in between," he said. "I want to convey a sense of warmth and passion, but also be appropriate."

Huh. I've never given a moment's thought to e-mail closers. I don't sign off my e-mail, I just stop writing when I've said everything I need to say, and append my signature. My signature is my name if the e-mail is going to someone I know. If the e-mail is going to a stranger, they get my name, title, the URL of the publication, and my phone number.

This is something else to be paranoid about. Oh, good.

E-mail signatures are signifiers of status. The longer your signature, the lower your status. Flunkies, interns and noobs have 10-line signatures with their full names (including middle name), title ("junior assistant deputy to the deputy junior assistant to the vice president"), phone number, alternate number, cell number, full mailing address including mail stop, and a three line quote from Battlestar: Galactica or the Lord of the Rings movies.

Meanwhile, the CEO of the multi-billion-dollar company sends short e-mails consisting entirely of sentence fragments with no capitalization, and signs them "bob." That's it, just "bob." Doesn't matter that there are millions of "bobs" in the world; it's your job to know who this "bob" is and hop to it when he tells you to do something.

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