The sun is shining, the grass is getting brown and the kids are getting fretful. It must be time to spend two weeks on a sun baked island in the Med. Of course, being a diligent employee/employer/director or other you set your email out of office letting everyone know that you have gone for two weeks and won’t be responding (crackberry heads aside that is). Or do you? Think again.
Many years ago it was an obvious and courteous thing to set your out of office message. It meant that colleagues knew that you would not be responding and you will get back at some time on your return. But over the past few years the use of out of office email messages has lead to some sinister problems.
First and most obvious is that setting an auto response will immediately send a reply back to random spam emails. At the very least this lets the spammer know that your email account is “live” and gets read. This increases the value of the address when sold on the open market.
More worryingly is the fact that you are broadcasting to all and sundry that you are away on holiday. It’s like letting the milk pile up on your doorstep at home or sticking a note on your door saying you will be back in two weeks – an open invitation to burglars and thieves.
How can someone find out where you live I hear you say? Easy – with little effort and the internet most people can be traced.
My solution? Simple, use BCC to send out an email to your 20 or so trusted colleagues letting them know you will be away on holiday and will respond on your return. I reckon most people only have 20 or so REAL contacts to worry about.
Alternatively if you are a sole trader then how about using one of the myriad of internet cafes to check your email or if you are desperate then take your laptop – but for the sake of your families use them discreetly and then put them away again, after all you are on holiday.