Five bad email habits and how to break them

Woman looking at laptop with surprised expression on face
To avoid unpleasant surprises, break your “Reply all” habit

We all spend a lot of time writing and replying to emails. So it’s not surprising that we sometimes cut corners or become careless. But a lot of the times we shoot ourselves in the foot with bad habits that  ignore security concerns, annoy our correspondents or result in unprofessional emails. Here are five of the most common email faux pas. If you are not prone to any of them, congratulations! But if you recognize yourself anywhere here, we have a few pointers to help you become a better (email) citizen.

1. Weak password

It has often been reported that the most popular password for email accounts is “123456,” closely followed by “password.” Weak, easy-to-guess passwords like this leave all the personal and sensitive information in your mailbox virtually unprotected.  Start using a strong password that contains at least 15 characters, including capital and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols. If you can’t come up with one, you can always use a password generator.

2. Hitting “Reply all”

We have all heard the horror stories about snarky emails meant for just one trusted coworker going out to the entire company – including the big boss. But even when the cringe factor isn’t so high, no one should be replying “Ok, see you there” to all 150 people who received the same invite. Be sure to hit the right “Reply” button and you’ll prevent a lot of annoyance, if not embarrassment.

3. Resurrecting dead email threads

It may seem easier to dig up an old email from the bottom of your inbox, hit “Reply” and add new information to the thread than to start a new one. However, a subject line like “Re: Fw: Fw: Re: Re: Re: Quick question” doesn’t just indicate an email thread that has spun out of control, but also  makes it hard for the recipients to know what you actually want and judge how important your message is. Adding a new, unrelated message to an old email chain simply causes confusion – and might mean people don’t bother reading the email because they think it’s already been taken care of. Create a new email with a relevant subject line as soon as the content of the email chain changes.

4. Not proofreading

Always read what you’ve written a second time before you hit “Send.” Forgetting to proofread can mean you send a client an email full of unproffesional spelling msiteaks or even incorrect information. Whether you are writing to your boss or your grandmother, you want your emails to make sense. And when the topic is contentious or emotional, it’s even best to wait an hour or two before giving your message a second read-through and sending it – this helps make sure you’ve struck the right tone and don’t write anything you’ll regret later.

5. Attaching ginormous files

If you’re attaching photos or documents to your email, make sure the files are not so huge that they’ll cause a problem for the person you’re sending them to. Although mail.com allows a generous attachment size of 30 MB, the email provider used by your recipient might be limited to 20 MB or even less. It’s usually better to resize images and refrain from attaching five Word documents when one PDF will do. Keep in mind that nowadays a lot of people read their emails on their phones and often have data limits. How will they feel if you send them 2 GB of attachments? This especially applies to photos, which everyone knows take up a gazillion MB each. Learn how to create zip folders, compress files, or use a file sharing service like mail.com’s free Cloud.

We hope you found this article helpful. Please leave us your feedback below!

18 people found this article helpful.

Related articles

2FA? OTP? Why do I need an app for that?

One hand holding smartphone while other hand types on laptop keyboard
The authenicator app on your smartphone generates a one-time code for the 2FA login

Two-factor authentication (2FA) is about boosting your inbox security by adding a second verification step to your email login process. And this second factor is a six-digit security code that you not only use to activate two-factor authentication, but also to log in once 2FA has been set up. This security code is also called an “OTP,” and it’s generated by an app that you install on your smartphone.

more

Posted in

App Password Security 2FA
4 people found this article helpful.

How do I recover my password?

It is super-frustrating to forget a password. Especially to your email account: Suddenly you are cut off from all your important emails, and often your contacts, calendar and online storage as well. Today we’ll share everything you need to know about the password recovery process so you can get back into your mailbox as quickly as possible. more

Posted in

Password How-to
3 people found this article helpful.

How secure is my password?

Metal lock on laptop keyboard
A strong password is like a lock protecting your email account
“Better safe than sorry” may be an old saying, but when it comes to your email password, it definitely still holds true. Because if an unauthorized person gains access to your email account, it can have serious consequences. more

Posted in

Security Password
7 people found this article helpful.

Why does mail.com want my address?

Female customer support agent wearing headset and talking to customer
If you contact customer support, your address is one way to verify your identity
When you signed up for your mail.com account, you might have asked yourself why we asked for your postal address. Are they going to send me advertising by snail mail? Give my address to third parties? Of course not! There’s a simple explanation, and it has to do with security. Hopefully this post will clear up the mystery of what we use your contact information for – and why you shouldn’t simply enter a fake address. more

Posted in

Security Password
10 people found this article helpful.

What‘s the carbon footprint of an email?

Windfarm with four wind turbines
Windfarms provide clean energy to power mail.com data center
Nowadays we are all asking ourselves “How can I reduce my carbon footprint?” And many of us are spending more and more time online – working remotely as well as streaming our favorite series and listening to music. Business travel has been significantly reduced, replaced by chats, video calls, and, of course, emails. Each of these online activities still cause carbon dioxide emissions, even if only a few grams. more

Posted in

mail.com Email
14 people found this article helpful.

What do cc and bcc mean?

Cc and bcc can both be used to send copies of an email to additional recipients. But have you sometimes wondered what the letters stand for? Or have you steered clear of both because you aren’t quite sure about the difference between cc and bcc? In this post, we’ll explain when to use cc vs bcc, how it works in your mail.com account – and what this all has to do with typewriters. more

Posted in

Email How-to Inbox
57 people found this article helpful.

How to send a large file by email

Are you looking to transfer a large file by email but not sure of the best way to go about it? We get it – there can be a lot of confusion about attachment size limits and free file-sharing services. So mail.com makes it easy for you, with generous attachment sizes and a file-sharing function integrated into our Cloud. Here we explain the three best options for sharing large files. more
9 people found this article helpful.

mail.com now running on wind energy

Company’s own data center in Lenexa, KS is now operating on 100% clean energy. more
3 people found this article helpful.

Email pioneer mail.com celebrates 25 years of reliable service and unique domain names

Founded in the early days of email, the mail.com brand is still going strong, letting customers maintain their original personalized email addresses while offering cutting-edge technical infrastructure, security and privacy protection. more
18 people found this article helpful.