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Email avalanche

Think twice before hitting ‘Reply All’

A simple yet effective solution to reply-all emails? Stop replying.

The Postal Service is reminding employees to avoid reply-all email debacles.

It usually starts with an email addressed to you and a large number of other recipients.

Instead of responding directly to the sender, one of the recipients responds reply-all to everyone in the email distribution list. Another person does the same thing. Then another, setting off a chain reaction.

In moments, your inbox is flooded with dozens of unwanted email responses.

Annoyed, you respond by sending a reply-all email asking recipients to not reply-all. Another person does the same thing. Then another.

Soon, the email flood becomes a tsunami.

If you wind up in this situation, the CyberSafe at USPS team offers a simple yet effective solution: Stop replying.

When no one replies, the message tsunami will ebb, often within a few minutes.

Aside from being annoying, reply-all emails add unnecessary strain on the Postal Service’s email servers.

Additionally, employees who continue to reply-all risk having the organization restrict their email privileges.

If you must send an email message to many recipients, use the bcc — blind carbon copy — line, which prevents recipients from replying all.

Management Instruction AS-870-2019-1 Electronic Messaging has additional information.