Stop Chain mail, Bad Jokes and E-Mail Hoaxes: Now about off-color jokes, chain e-mails and hoaxes. I got two words for you: STOP IT!
Sexually explicit messages, racist jokes, goofy virus warnings and hoaxes or any hate-filled e-mails have damaged reputations; gotten people fired and even arrested. As a small business owner, you will often have a "public" email address and a "private" one.
You or your friends and family will eventually get them confused. Instead of trying to remember which email you need to forward the "Hot Bod of the Day" out on, just stop it and don't send it at all.
Here's a good rule of thumb; if it would embarrass you if someone other than the intended recipient read your message, don't send it. People will and have "forwarded" along the most private and explicit of emails to other people. Why take a chance?
For example, there was a young business executive who sent an email to her then boyfriend detailing their latest sex-capdes with pictures...he in turned forwarded it to his two "best" friends on the shush-shush (who worked at the same world famous law firm he did it).
Somehow, it ended up in the international news channels via the internet (not the pictures; just the story!). If I recall correctly, she got fired and he got severely reprimanded. And, no it wasn't fair...see what I mean.
Just stop it. Psss! Pass that one on to five friends and get a free dinner for two!
Don't Display Your Email Address in Public: Don't put any company email addresses in public. Not on a webpage, not inside the code of a unsecured web form, not in the About Us, Contact Us or Privacy or Policy pages.
Okay....so can my clients and customers reach me? Create an email page like this: EMAIL - Please email me using this address: Myname(at)mydomain.com. Please include the words "All Clear" or "Reese2007", etc. typed exactly as shown somewhere in the subject line! Due to spam, I will not respond to any messages without the above password!
Link this page to all the places where your email address would normally appear. If people want to contact you, they will understand and take the needed steps to reach you.
You can set your email filters to release or "whitelist" any message that comes through with your chosen password in the subject line.