Real SMB IT – The Email Oops!

September 5, 2008



Sarah E. Needleman of the Wall Street Journal has a blog post regarding a nasty Oops! email;

…accidentally emailed the entire firm a note apparently describing plans for a majoring restructuring of the firm’s U.S. operations, including an undetermined number of layoffs.

I am sure that most of us have either;

– Done it ourselves

– Know someone who has done it

– At least know of someone who has

As a Business Technology Manager, there has been more than one incident that has had people asking me if they can retrieve something that they accidentally sent to the the wrong distribution list or group.

The Hair Trigger Finger

A common (but not only) culprit in these situations is the accidental mouse click or press of the ‘Enter’ key that selects the first distribution list in the address book (either corporate or personal) and then sends your email to it.

And since the address book sorts alphabetically, that could be the “All” list.

Fortunately this common issue is easily preventable.

Whether it is the “global” corporate server based distribution lists, or a personal lists that you have created, create one more distribution list with nobody in it.

Call the list _Blank or something similar.

The underscore will sort before the letters of the alphabet so it should be first on the list.

If that oops of the ‘Enter’ key or trigger finger mouse click happens when selecting a distribution list, you have good odds that it went to your _Blank list.

Photo Credit Kate Sumbler

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