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