Worst Email Mistakes At Work & How To Fix Them

"The average office employee now sends or receives 121 emails a day..." - Radicati Group

With the staggering amount of emails sent daily, people are more likely to make mistakes. They may be innocuous and written off as simple errors, or they can cause you to lose sensitive company data, put a huge dent in your revenue, and put your reputation at risk. Law firms, banks, and healthcare providers all handle sensitive information like financial models, client data, and intellectual property as a matter of course, and an overwhelming majority will communicate this information over email.

#1: You sent an email to the wrong person

How many times have you wished you could recall an email after misaddressing it? You may have sent it to the wrong colleague or client with a similar email address to your intended recipient, and in the worst case scenario, may have sent it to a complete strangers email address.

Tools do exist which allow you to recall emails after they've already been sent, but they're not all that common, and require you to have already noticed the email has been misaddressed, and realistically, who double-checks recipients after sending an email.

Read our four tips to stop this from happening again - Did you accidentally send an email to the wrong person at work?

#2: You accidentally hit 'reply all.'

You’re in a rush, tired, not paying attention, and before you know it you've clicked reply all, sending that client spreadsheet to 45 people instead of a single colleague. You may realize your mistake a few seconds after pressing send or feel your heart suddenly sink as the penny drops much later.

Once again, you could use Outlook's "recall" function, or Gmails "Un-send", but these are stop-gap solutions, and with the mistakes having been sent to many people, the odds of someone seeing and saving data that wasn't meant for them is exponentially higher.

#3: When you "To" or "CC" instead of "BCC"

At first glance, mistakenly CC'ing instead of BCC'ing may seem mildly annoying at best. Sure, there have been moments in which someone Replies All to a thread with 840,000 recipients CC'd and crashes the system, but those almost never happen... right?

Neglecting to BCC can turn out to be an oddly specific data breach. A London clinic neglected to BCC a newsletter on Living with HIV, and ended up exposing the email addressed and full names of all the recipients to one another, and were heavily fined by the Information Commissioners Office as a result.

The most effective way of preventing mistakes like the above, although not always the most practical, is to use a mass-emailing provider like MailChimp, which BCC's messages by default.


But really, the best way to tackle these uber-common email mistakes isn't to try and recall them after they've been sent – it's to stop them ever being sent in the first place. At Tessian, we offer plug-and-play protection against misaddressed emails that intelligently protects you from typos in addresses, accidentally replying all, and neglecting to BCC.

Tessian is a human layer security platform for email that uses machine learning to protect against security threats like misaddressed/misdirected emails, unauthorized emails, spear phishing and non-compliance.

Schedule a Demo.