Tag Archives: SendGuard for Outlook

5 Problems That Arise from Outlook’s “Reply-All”

By standss - Comments ( 0 ) Thursday, August 31st, 2017

Should you do  Reply or Reply-to-All? Have you ever looked at an email and wondered if your reply should be seen by ALL other recipients included in the email?

In most cases a simple ‘Reply’ would suffice, as only the sender would receive the email.

Situations where a ‘Reply-All’ would be justified is if the information being sent adds value and relevance to all the recipients of the original email.

On the other hand, Reply-All should NOT be used if your reply is a ‘Thank You’ or ‘Ok’. In this case, either using Reply, or providing no reply will do, as the subject matter is not necessary for the sender and all the other recipients to see or be a part of.

It is also important to note that at times these Reply-All email chains are the result of an accident, i.e. clicking ‘Reply-All’ instead of ‘Reply’. Users do not always fully  understand the function of Reply-All, resulting in email chains sent back and forth without knowing about all the other included recipients.

Regardless of the intentions behind clicking Reply-All, by choosing to send a reply to all the recipients listed in the email, many problems can arise.

In this post we will be looking at some of these problems and why they should be avoided.

Emails or Spam Mail?

The first problem with Reply-All messages is that they are very annoying. At times these messages are similar to spam mail, which for many organizations is not something they want to deal with on a daily basis.

For instance, if you were part of an organization that employed thousands of people around the world, and one of your associates accidentally clicks Reply-All to an email that all the employees are addressed in. The amount of emails being sent would be HUGE. In addition, once others start replying back using Reply-All on the same email chain, the cycle of emails being sent and received would seem never ending.

Having to constantly check these incoming emails to ensure that they are work related would be irritating and a waste of time. On the other hand, having to ignore incoming emails is not wise, due to the possibility of receiving emails from clients/customers.

Causes Server Issues

As emails are being sent back and forth, they are ultimately stored in the organizations computer servers and cloud based storage. When put in a situation where everyone in the organisation is receiving the same number of emails at the same time, multiple problems can arise for the servers.

For starters, the size of the organization and the number of employees will have an effect on the functionality (i.e. the speed and available space) on the servers. This simply means, if there are a whole lot of employees receiving a whole lot of emails, the rate at which the servers are filled may cause some problems regarding how well the servers work.

Furthermore, as the servers and other storage systems are filled, there may not be time to purchase more space, due to the lack of time and costs involved in buying more servers/space at the last minute. This could result in lagging computers and networks, due to the strain put on the servers trying to send out emails to all the listed recipients, while simultaneously trying to allocate space and data for various business operations.

With the increased pressure placed on the servers, the likelihood of it ‘flooding’ and therefore crashing is a big concern for the organizations due to the magnitude of data and emails being shared.

Decreases Organizational Productivity

The drip down effects of employees having to constantly check their emails, increasingly  slow network receptions and crashed servers will have a negative effect on the organizations productivity.

By having so many obstacles that affects so many people, from the restrictions to their ability and quality of work will also increase. Furthermore, in some situations, these problems may take days to amend, leaving organizations and their employees unable to perform their daily tasks and meet important deadlines.

Loss of Clients and Customers

Businesses can also potentially lose clients and customers if they are included as recipients in these Reply-All emails. Receiving what seems like never-ending emails, that has no relevance of their role  in the organization would be very annoying/frustrating. This may cause them to negatively perceive the company and may even lead them to part ways, to reduce the risk of a similar situation happening because of the organization.

The Secret’s Out

The final problem we will be looking at is the inclusion of BCC (Blind Carbon Copy) recipients in Outlook emails. When BCC recipients are included in emails, the recipients in the To and CC lines are unaware of their inclusion, besides the sender, due to their email addresses being hidden.

There is nothing negative about using BCC’s in the right context, such as BCCing the HR or legal department when addressing sensitive situations as a compliance measure. On the other hand, when BCC’s are used as a method of protection for gossip or as a way to confront other co-workers, is where it can get problematic.

If BCC’d recipients decide to reply to the email with Reply-All, things can get messy. For one, their secret is out, i.e. their identity and involvement in the email is made known to all other CC’d recipients. The next problem is that CC’d users now know that the sender of the email had included other recipients without their knowledge, this can reduce the level of trust the recipient has for the email sender, and it will also make them question the motives behind the email.

All these situations mentioned above, have been more frequent recently due to human error and the rush of everyday life. That being said, with a little bit of time and proper email etiquette can be avoided.

However, If you are interested in providing extra protection at the click of a button whenever replying to emails for you and your organization, feel free to download the free trial of ReplyGuard for Outlook which provides solutions for Reply-All related problems, or for increased range of email protection solutions, download the free trial of SendGuard for Outlook.

Learn more about preventing accidental Reply-Alls in your organization

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Categories : ReplyGuard, SendGuard for Outlook Comments ( 0 )

Fixing speed problems in Outlook by Working Offline.

By standss - Comments ( 1 ) Tuesday, July 21st, 2015

If you find Outlook almost hanging up on you while you are writing emails, this tip will save you from a lot of frustration (and as a bonus increase your focus and productivity).

Does this sound familiar…?

You’re replying to an email and then Outlook starts doing something in the background. It basically locks up! You can’t do anything except wait for it to finish!

After a few moments, you get tired of waiting so you switch over to something that still works on your computer… something to do while you’re waiting… most probably the Internet… or Facebook.

10 minutes later you remember what you were actually working on!  That’s 10 minutes wasted just because Outlook started doing something you never asked it to in the first place.

And it’s not just 10 minutes. It normally takes another 10 minutes to get refocussed again.

How many 10 minutes do you lose in your day?

I spend a significant part of my day working on emails and recently I have been having this problem several times a day.

I use Outlook 2013 with Office 365 and I discovered that the problem seems to coincide with when my Outlook is syncing emails with Office 365… particularly when I am working from home where my Internet connection is not as fast.

I found that I can greatly improve my productivity by making Outlook work offline when I plan to do actual work.

This is what you need to do:

  1. Go to Outlook
  2. Click Send/Receive on the Ribbon and then click Work Offline.

Untitled

  1. Work on your emails
  2. Make Outlook go back online (by clicking on the Work Offline button again).

Warning: Please remember to make Outlook go online again. While Outlook is offline, no emails will be sent or received. Emails that you send will still be in the Outbox and new emails will be not be received in your Inbox (they will be waiting to be downloaded from your mail server when you go back online).

This simple tip has had a surprisingly positive effect on my productivity. Why?

  1. It stops Outlook from hanging up so I am able to get what I am working on completed without waiting for Outlook. I don’t get distracted to look at other things (Facebook!!).
  2. I also don’t get distracted by new emails popping in to the Inbox while I am working on something. (New emails are not downloaded while Outlook is working offline)
  3. As a bonus I enjoy work more without the frustrations of waiting.

Did this tip help you? Do you have your own tips for fixing Outlook performance issues? Please let us know by leaving a comment below.

Categories : Office Tip, Outlook Performance Comments ( 1 )

Email Etiquette and Reply-to-Alls

By standss - Comments ( 1 ) Monday, March 23rd, 2015

The Reply-to-All button in Outlook can be both dangerous and an enormous time-waster, particularly in larger organizations. In this post we look at when it is OK to Reply All and how you can configure Outlook so that you (and others) make the correct choice between Reply and Reply-to-All.

What is the problem with Reply-All?

  1. Productivity: It wastes time and important network bandwidth.

Have you ever been part of an email chain in where people start doing Reply-Alls and saying things like “Noted”, “Received” or “Thanks”?

Now imagine this in a big organization where hundreds of users are wasting valuable time looking at those emails.

  1. Confidentiality

Sometimes you want to email only the Sender of the email with your thoughts and extra information. Clicking Reply-All can accidentally put everyone in the loop and can lead to embarrassing and possibly expensive mistakes.

When should you use Reply All?

This article from the Huffington Post on Email Etiquette has some scenarios that provide guidance on deciding.

The answer to this is common sense.

Use Reply All only when all recipients NEED to be kept informed. Otherwise just Reply to the people who actually need to be emailed.

The other way to decide is to look at the original email to see if it meant to be a conversation or discussion.  If the answer is YES, and you are adding something of value then a Reply-All is appropriate.

When should you NOT use Reply All?

  1. For a personal comment or conversation with one of the recipients, particularly if you are bad-mouthing one of the other recipients.
  2. When you want to acknowledge to the original sender that you have received the email with a short.

Is it possible to reduce Reply-Alls in your organization?

Out of the box, Outlook requires users to exercise restraint. Unfortunately this rarely happens. It is too easy to click Reply-All.

We created Reply-Guard for Outlook to assist with this. Reply Guard is a component of our Send Guard for Outlook product that is already used by thousands of companies around the world.

Reply Guard does more than just warn users. It immediately makes it obvious to users exactly who will be receiving the email.

You can find out more about Reply Guard in the next blog post.

Protect your company from wrongly sent emails

By standss - Comments ( 0 ) Monday, February 9th, 2015

The web is full examples of what the dangers to organization due to emails sent to the wrong email address (including one that may have led to a $1B settlement). What are the risks to your organization from these kinds of mistakes, and what you can do to manage those risks? We answer these questions and also look at a solution that several large companies are now implementing.

How do these mistakes occur?

These mistakes typically occur when a user accidentally sends an email to the wrong person. The normal reason for this would be that there may be two people with the same or similar names.

Unfortunately Outlooks Auto Complete list (which generally helps by displaying a list of matching names and email addresses as you begin to type) makes these kinds of mistakes even easier to make.

(Strategy) What can you do to reduce the risks from these kinds of mistakes?

It is probably impossible to eliminate mistakes of this kind altogether. Therefore your organization’s strategy should be based on:

  1. Configuring Outlook to reduce the chances that users will make these mistakes
  2. Be able to show (in the event of litigation etc.) that your organization took reasonable action to prevent mistakes of these kinds

What can you do:

The actual actions you can take include:

  1. Asking users to be more careful and pay more attentions before emails are sent out.
  2. Turning off Microsoft Outlook’s Auto-Complete feature.

While both of the above are theoretically good solutions, they may not work as well in the real world for most organization because:

  1. Irrespective of how careful people are, mistakes are inevitable (it’s part of being human).
  2. Auto-Complete is actually a very useful feature and it is painful and counter-productive to use Outlook without this turned on.

Is there a better solution?

Yes! Send Confirm is an Outlook addin that integrates inside Outlook and automatically prompts for confirmation before emails are sent out.

sendconfirm

The domain is highlighted in red as the greatest damage can be caused if confidential information is sent to the wrong organization.

Send Confirm has been designed with the needs of both small and large companies in mind.

  • The warning prompt can be customized based on corporate/legal guidelines and policies
  • Special filters can be setup to control when the prompt gets displayed (external emails only, all emails etc)
  • All settings can be set and deployed centrally

We’ve actually Send Confirm available to users for several years as part of Send Guard for Outlook. However at the request of several larger organizations, we have now packaged Send Confirm as a separate component to make it more cost-effective for wider deployment in organization.

Please contact us at sales@standss.com for more information on how Send Confirm can be used to protect your organisation.

 

Prompt before sending email EXCEPT if within domain(Send Guard for Outlook Upgrade)

By standss - Comments ( 0 ) Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013

We’ve added a new feature to Send Guard for Outlook that was suggested by a corporate client with more than 500 Outlook users.

We are happy to announce the release of a new updated version of SendGuard for Outlook (version 1.1.5023). This update is free for all existing users and includes a number of “new” features as well as bug fixes.

What’s New?

One of the most liked feature of SendGuard is the “Send-Confirm” prompt. After you click Send, SendGuard automatically displays this prompt to ensure that you are ACTUALLY ready to send the email. This helps you avoid accidentally sending incomplete or inappropriate emails which you would later regret sending.

But… you might not want the confirmation prompt to appear for all emails for example emails that are sent within your organization (within the same domain). With the new version, you can easily add your company domain to the list and SendGuard will not display the prompt for all emails within that domain.

Here’s how to make this change in the Settings:

  • Open Outlook
  • On the ribbon, click the Standss Outlook Addins tab
  • In the SendGuard group, click on the SendGuard button > click Settings…
  • Click on the Send Confirm tab to display the screen as shown below

sendguard_send_confirm

  • Select the option for “Display messages for Everyone except following addresses/domains
  • Click the Add button, enter the domain name on the displayed screen for example standss.com or microsoft.com etc
  • Click OK and then OK again

Now for any email addresses within the listed domain, you will not get a Send Confirm prompt.

The full list of features/bug fixes in this update include:

  • New! New Send confirm prompt option: Display prompt for everyone except the following email address / domains
  • New! Apply Windows theme on all addin screens
  • Bug fix: On some machines with Outlook 2013, empty subject prompt message comes up in never ending loop.
  • Bug fix: If you do a Reply-All on an email whose sender is a Microsoft Exchange Email, an error prompt comes up.
  • Bug fix: On some machines, when you file original email using EmailTags for Outlook, an error message comes up in SendGuard.

You can download the latest version now from our website.

New to SendGuard: SendGuard is an Outlook addin that has a collection of extremely useful tools that ensure your outgoing emails are COMPLETE (with no missing information) and are being sent to the CORRECT (and only the correct) people.

SendGuard will automatically display a prompt when you:

  • Forget to attach a important file to an email
  • Clicked Reply when you meant Reply-All or vice-versa.
  • Forgot to write a subject.
  • Emailed someone using the wrong email address (for those of us with more than one email address).
  • Fired off an angry message that you later regretted.

Test Drive SendGuard for Outlook now by downloading the fully functional 30 day trial.

Let us know what you think about the new features in SendGuard by leaving a comment below.

Categories : Outlook Email Tips, SendGuard for Outlook Comments ( 0 )

SendGuard version 1.1.4898 Released: Compatible with 64bit version of Outlook + Other Improvements

By standss - Comments ( 0 ) Wednesday, June 5th, 2013

Standss is pleased to announce the update release of the SendGuard version 1.1.4898.

This update is free for all existing registered users of version 1.0 or later.

Fixes and Features in this update include:

  • Compatible with 64bit version of Outlook
  • ReplyGuard feature now works with Inline Response in Outlook 2013
  • Plus other bug fixes

Download latest version of SendGuard outlook addon

New to SendGuard: SendGuard is an Outlook addin that has a collection of extremely useful tools that ensure your outgoing emails are COMPLETE (with no missing information) and are being sent to the CORRECT (and only the correct) people.

SendGuard will automatically display a prompt when you:

  • Forget to attach a important file to an email
  • Clicked Reply when you meant Reply-All or vice-versa.
  • Forgot to write a subject.
  • Emailed someone using the wrong email address (for those of us with more than one email address).
  • Fired off an angry message that you later regretted.

Test Drive SendGuard for Outlook now by downloading the fully functional 30 day trial.

Let us know what you think about SendGuard by leaving a comment below.

Why you should NOT use BCC for secret communications

By standss - Comments ( 6 ) Tuesday, February 19th, 2013

Have you ever BCCed someone on an email so that you can secretly keep them in the loop without the other recipients knowing? Here’s why it is a dangerous practice and what you should do instead.

What is BCC (for those who haven’t used it before)

When you send out an email you can add recipients email addresses to the To, CC or BCC fields. CC stands for carbon copy and is a term that comes from when we used typewriters and used carbon paper to make copies of letters to send to extra people.

BCC stands for Blind Carbon Copy.

Normally when you send an email, recipients can see who else received the email because they can see the To and CC fields. But they cannot see the BCC field which means that if you BCC someone on an email, the other people who received the same email will not know.

Why might you use BCC?

  • To send a copy of the email to yourself so that you get it in your Inbox as an action item.
  • To send a copy to your Gmail account etc. for archiving.
  • To secretly inform someone about an email conversation

What is the danger of using BCC?

If you used BCC to keep a recipient hidden from others, imagine what would happen if the hidden recipient did a reply-to-all!

Suddenly the other recipients would be aware that you had been using BCC and depending on the nature of the email conversation, this may be viewed as dishonest or sneaky.

What you can do instead of using BCC

Instead of using BCC, I recommend that you send the email out to the main recipients only using the To and CC fields. Then FORWARD the sent email to anyone else who you need to inform.

Now even if the secret recipient does a Reply-to-All, it only comes back to you.

How to avoid accidental Reply-to-Alls yourself

If you or others in your organization are dealing with confidential information that you are BCCed on, you might want to also look at Send Guard for Outlook. to avoid doing an accident Reply-to-all yourself!

Send Guard has special filters that check emails as you respond to them and as they are sent out.

A special prompt will warn you and ask for confirmation if you reply to an email on which you have been BCCed.

This can avoid the accidental disclosure to other recipients that we referred to earlier.

How do you ensure confidential information is not accidently disclosed?

Let us know by leaving a comment below.

When to BCC Emails in Outlook

By standss - Comments ( 2 ) Thursday, March 29th, 2012

I saw an interesting article on using BCC on Microsoft’s Outlook blog. I am sure most readers know about BCC but when should you use BCC? Here’s what we think.

Firstly… what is BCC?

BCC stands for blind carbon. People that you BCC on an email will receive the email but their names will not be visible to other recipients of the same email i.e. the other recipients will not know that the BCCed person also received a copy of the email.

Recommended Uses of BCC

  1. Hide one or more recipients from others: You may need to send a copy of the email to someone without the other recipients knowing about it.
  2. Prevent Reply-to-All Storms: You may choose to BCC many people on an email if they do need to discuss the email further amongst themselves. Using BCC instead of CC means that everyone can’t get involved in unnecessary discussions or have to receive useless one-word emails like thank you or ok.
  3. Circulate Jokes: I know that many people do not recommend circulating jokes but some jokes just are too good to keep to yourself. Unless you are forwarding the joke to a close group of friends and want further comments to follow, email the joke to yourself and BCC everyone else.

Not Recommended Uses of BCC:

  1. Putting down your colleagues: Don’t BCC management on a conversation to show that you are doing your work well while others are slacking off. If you need to complain about someone, don’t be sneaky about it.
  2. Sending out sales or marketing newsletters. If you use the BCC to send to people you don’t know well, your email just looks like SPAM. Use something like Email Merge for Outlook instead.

Replying to a BCCed email

Before you reply to your next email, check to see if you were BCCed  (does your name appear in the To or CC fields). If not, than the email was addressed to multiple people, think twice before replying!

Why were you BCCed? Does the sender want to hide from the others that you were sent a copy of the email too?

If you reply-to-all on an email that you were BCCed on then the secret is out. Everyone knows that you received the email as well.

If you get BCCed on a lot of emails then you may want to use something like Reply Guard for Outlook… which will warn you anytime you try and reply-to-all an email that you were BCCed on.

Please share you own ideas of using BCC by leaving a comment on the blog.

How to Handle Emails You Receive That Are Intended for Someone Else

By standss - Comments ( 1 ) Tuesday, March 6th, 2012

Do you occasionally receive emails that were accidentally sent to you (maybe because your email address is very similar to someone else)? What should you do when this happens… and how can you avoid making this mistake yourself.

I recently saw an article on LifeHacker on this topic. Their recommendations were as follows.

  1. You’re not actually ethically bound to do anything.
  2. Forward it. Don’t Delete it. Their recommendation is to forward it to the intended recipient and CC the sender (I recommend something different below)

My Recommendation

My preferred method for dealing with these emails is to, REPLY TO THE SENDER and let them know that they accidentally sent you the email. I do this because:

  1. It makes the sender aware of the mistake so they’ll be more careful in the future.
  2. The intended recipient is not aware that someone else received the email. This may be important if the sender is a good friend and the email contained confidential information (a lawyer friend once sent information to me that was meant for someone else… there was nothing confidential in that email but the next time there may have been).

How to avoid making this mistake yourself

This mistake is very easy to make if you’re a Microsoft Outlook user. Outlook has an Auto-complete feature that completes email addresses as you type them in the To, CC or Bcc fields of emails. It is very easy to accidentally pick the wrong email address from this list.

We have covered how you can protect yourself in the past in:

Preventing Disasters caused by Outlook’s Autocomplete feature

For additional protection you may also want to look at Send Guard for Outlook which can prompt you for confirmation before any emails are sent out.

SendGuard Send Confirm screen

The prompt has the recipient’s name which can serve as an additional warning. (SendGuard users… you can turn this on using the Settings Screen and selecting the Send Confirm tab)

What do you do when you get misdirected emails? Do you forward it or reply… do you delete? Please share your own ideas by leaving a comment.

Outlook Tip: Add Attachment to Email using Drag and Drop

By standss - Comments ( 3 ) Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

Adding attachments to email is no big deal, even beginners would know how to do this (Click on the Attachment button and browsing the file).

But the problem with this method is that there is a possibility you might forget to add the attachment to the email. Why?

Because we send hundreds of emails in a day (not all require an attachment), the most obvious sequences of steps are, open a blank email > enter the email address > subject > content > and then click Send.

If an email needs an attachment, it would likely be the last thing you will add and so there is chances you will miss it. Which means you will again have to send another email with the attachment wasting your time and maybe annoying your clients/customers.

Here is how you can use Drag and Drop to add an attachment to the email first and then enter the other details

  • Open Outlook
  • Click on the Inbox
  • Go to the location where you have saved the file you wish to attach
  • Drag and Drop the file in the Inbox.

This will now open a blank email with the attachment added. You can now enter the email address, subject (this will be the same as the name of the attachment but you can always change it), enter the content and click Send. Simple and Safe!

For those who still prefer the traditional method of adding attachment, you can try SendGuard for Outlook. This simple Outlook addin automatically prompts you if it feels that an email is missing an attachment. You can focus on the more important stuff like the email content while this outlook add on runs in the background and protects you when needed.

Did you find this tip useful? Let us know by leaving a comment below

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