Why You Should Remove Email Addresses in a Forwarded Message

Deleting addresses increases privacy and security

E-mail icons and binary numbers (Digital Composite)

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Removing the contact information from forwarded email messages is a matter of privacy, security, and courtesy. But, because most email programs, when forwarding, insert header information, including the "To" and "Cc" fields, by default, you may be inadvertently sharing the contact information of people who would rather not have their email addresses publicized.

What Happens When You Do Not Remove Addresses

Not removing the addresses on a forwarded email has one advantage. Everyone who receives the message knows who already sent and received it, so there's no need to send it to those recipients again.

However, including all header information, including email addresses, also has overwhelming disadvantages. First, the message looks messy and, often, the actual content is buried beneath all the header information.

Second, you're sharing email addresses with third parties without the consent of their owners. This concern should be understandable if you, yourself, wouldn't want your email address given to people you don't know.

How to Remove Email Addresses When You Forward a Message

Cleaning up an email can involve several steps but, in general, you should highlight email addresses and other unnecessary information, then use the Delete key to remove them. If you forward the message as an attachment, you might need to take extra steps to move addressees' information.

Remember to take a few seconds to make this extra effort, as removing email addresses when forwarding a message is courteous to everyone involved.