Out-of-of­fice e-mails could pose a pri­vacy risk

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - Technology -

SET­TING up an au­to­mated outof-of­fice mes­sage is standard prac­tice for em­ploy­ees who don’t plan on check­ing their in­boxes for a few days. How­ever, many don’t re­alise the risks such a move can pose.

Spam­mers and other on­line fraud­sters can in­fer sev­eral conclusions from the au­to­mated mes­sage, warns a Ger­man In­ter­net as­so­ci­a­tion.

The mes­sages re­veal not only that the e-mail ad­dress ac­tu­ally ex­ists, but they also of­ten con­tain names and other sen­si­tive in­for­ma­tion about the col­leagues who are cov­er­ing for you while you’re away.

And in small com­pa­nies, the au­to­mated mes­sage can even in­form crim­i­nals that an of­fice is un­oc­cu­pied – ideal for break-ins.

Of course, this does not mean that you can’t set up an out-ofof­fice mes­sage, for ex­am­ple, be­fore your hol­i­day from work. But you should think care­fully about what in­for­ma­tion in it may be un­nec­es­sary.

Many e-mail pro­grams can be set up in such a way that dif­fer­ent mes­sages can be sent to in­ter­nal and ex­ter­nal e-mail senders. This means that col­leagues get more in­for­ma­tion than strangers.

You also have the op­tion of send­ing au­to­mated replies only to known senders.

— dpa

Think­ing of set­ting up an au­to­mated out-of-of­fice email be­fore you go on va­ca­tion? Be sure to think care­fully about what in­for­ma­tion you put in the email, ad­vises a Ger­man In­ter­net as­so­ci­a­tion.

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