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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

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One Step Ahead: Almanac Security Tips - 2014

In each issue, Penn's Journal of Record, The Almanac publishes helpful tips and hints for dealing with information security and privacy matters. This page is a collection of all those published thus far.
New! You can now receive new One-Step-Ahead Security and Privacy Tips automatically!
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Table of Contents (view all)

Heartbleed OpenSSL Vulnerability
Security and Privacy Tips for World Travelers
Filing Taxes Online This Year? Take Steps to Protect Your Information!
If your computer runs Windows XP, you must update it now!
Why Should You Report Security Incidents? And How Do You Report One?
Photo and Video Privacy Issues
The Password is Dead, Long Live the Password!
Data Privacy Month: NSA Surveillance Panel at the National Constitution Center
Protecting Your Finances During This Year’s Holiday Shopping Season
Beware of Phishing E-mails in the Wake of Typhoon Haiyan
No E-mail from Penn Will Ask For Your Username/Password or SSN
The Children's Online Privacy Protection Act: Does It Apply to Your Website?
October: National Cyber Security Awareness Month; Free Secure Disposal of Paper and Electronics
What Basic Rules Protect Student Information at Penn? (September 2013)
Protecting Privacy and Security on Penn + Box

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Tagged with email , privacy

Tuesday, January 15, 2008 - Almanac Vol. 54, No. 17

Electronic Group Mailing Lists: Consider the Privacy Risks

One of the most popular features of e-mail is the ability to send the same message to a group of individuals with a single mouse click. For example, you can create a group of addresses with your mail program (such as Outlook), give the group a name, or “alias,” and substitute the alias for the underlying address list when sending a message. You can also initiate a list management service, or listserv, which allows you to send messages to list subscribers without entering a series of addresses. Although such “group emails” can be convenient, there are also several potential privacy risks to consider.

For example, when you send a message to an alias, do you first check to confirm that it is appropriate for everyone on the underlying address list to receive the message? Do you avoid using listserv names and e-mail aliases (as well as subject lines) that could reveal sensitive information if the message is seen by someone other than the intended recipient? Suppose, for example, that the e-mail alias for your message is “Cancer Support Group”—this in itself could potentially reveal, to office staff or others who inadvertently see the message, that the recipient has a health concern.

You can reduce the risk of revealing confidential information by routinely choosing neutral names for listservs and other e-mail address groups—for example, “student group A” rather than “academic probation group”. (Also, e-mail programs typically allow you to use the “bcc” field to enter the actual recipient addresses; you can enter your own address in the “to” field, keeping the identities of the actual recipients private.) When you initiate a listserv, select options that enable you to control who can see and use the subscriber list.

For further information about e-mail group mailing lists at Penn see


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