Internet etiquette for seniors


YOU may be over 60 but that’s no excuse for your Internet skills not being up to date. There is no reason to be stuck in the 90s when everyone else is living in 2015.

Here are some Internet tips to help you breeze through 2015 without facing the wrath or annoyance of your family members and friends:

Don’t use all caps

When sending an email to family and friends, write it the way you would a letter. Do not hit the Caps Lock button on your computer and type in all capital letters. This is a sure way to get your friends and family annoyed. Plus, they won’t read your email. You may think it makes it easier to read, but to the recipient it’s seen as you shouting at them. In addition, it really is tough to read anything which is completely in capital letters.

Email – use bcc

This is a pet peeve among the younger generation who want to secure their privacy. When you send an email to several or many people and insert all their email addresses in the “To” or “CC” fields, everyone receiving the email can see everyone else’s email address. Unscrupulous marketers will harvest the addresses and spam them in future. Remember, some people may have email addresses that are private.

Plus, if a recipient chooses to hit the “Reply All” option, everyone in that email loop will receive the reply.

A way around this is to use the BCC field in your email. BCC stands for Blind Carbon Copy. What it does is email copies of that email to everyone listed in the BCC. However, the recipients cannot see who else is included in the BCC field.

This way also, when someone replies to you, the email goes directly to you and not to anyone else.

Fill in the email subject

Sometimes you will find your friends and relatives saying they did not receive your email. Often it is because you did not fill in the “Subject” field when composing your email. When that happens there is a chance your email automatically ends up in their Spam folder.

It’s also harder for them to find old email if there is no Subject.

Be kind and fill in the “Subject” field and make it succinct.

Don’t spam

You may have something to share with everyone in your mailing list, but avoid sending out multiple email messages with the same content. Your Internet service provider (ISP, such as TM or Maxis) will flag it as spam and you can even be blacklisted. Your email provider (Google, Yahoo!, etc) may also flag you and block you from accessing your email.

If you have something to share with everyone, consider setting up a Facebook account and posting there for all your family and friends to read.

Do reply email promptly

If you use email for work or business purposes, do check your email regularly (every other day, if not daily) and reply promptly. Anything more than a week is too long a wait by today’s standards. Email is supposed to be fast. If you have a client or an agent waiting for you to respond, there’s no reason to keep them waiting more than a week.

Secure your email

This is the most important tip of all. By securing your email you are not only protecting yourself and whatever content you have in your email account, but also all the people in your contacts list – that means everyone who has emailed you and whom you have emailed using that account.

Once a spammer gets their hands on your email account, they will use it to harvest all the email addresses and then use your account to spam all your contacts.

If the recipients do not know any better, they may click on links in that spam email which may cause them to download a virus or even be fooled into sending money.

To avoid all this unpleasantness, learn to secure your email by using a password that is hard to hack. You should use upper and lower case, numbers and special characters.

For an easy way to make up a new password that you can remember, look at this video:

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