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Sent an Email to a Wrong Person: How To Manage The Situation

Email to a Wrong Person

“The only man who never makes a mistake is the man who never does anything” - Theodore Roosevelt

Mistakes we do make up a big part of our life. 

There’s no “human factor” remedy, and that’s what makes our being on this planet so fascinating.

Not paying enough attention, trying to be quick, placing hands at an awkward angle, we can go on and on about the “helping factors”. There are so many little details that can play into a blunder finding a place in your messages or subject lines. 

While typos may not be a big deal when you are still composing, they can’t be managed as easily after you have already pressed “send”. 

You’ve Sent an Email to a Wrong Person

While it doesn’t sound like the end of the world to regular email users, the business sector can’t get away as easily with bloopers of this kind. 

That is because corporate emails contain huge volumes of confidential and highly sensitive data, either pinned in email attachments or laid out as plain text in the body of the email.

The average worker spends 28% of his working hours on checking and writing emails, so there’s more than enough time to make a mistake.

The emergence of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) put the entire business circle on notice, as one accidentally sent out email counts as a violation of fifteen GDPR articles

The Price You Pay for a Misdirected Email

The leak of protected healthcare information through an email also won’t get you a pat on the back. 

For mistakes of this kind, The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) will oblige you to pay up to $50,000 for a singular email mistake. 

As the research results suggest, 45% of employees have mistakenly disclosed personal data of others in the email with unintended recipients. 

A curious case happened with Commonwealth Bank a couple of years ago, when its staff repeatedly sent out confidential data of its clients to the wrong company, by simply forgetting to add “.au” to “cba.com”. 

That is 651 internal emails that got lost in transition during 2015-16, years that were kinder to childish mistakes such as this one. 

As you can see, sometimes it’s not only a matter of spelling mistakes. In some cases people also blame autocorrect that puts email in the form for them, sending to CC instead of BCC, or even a careless “Reply All” mishap. 

What Happens After You Send Email to a Wrong Person?
Additional statistics let us know that more than thirty percent of employees would read an unintended letter, while forty-five percent would notify the sender about their mistake. 

Not that it would relieve you of your duties to notify the regulators, as you would still have to let them know about the accident. 

In addition to that, you should apologize for sending an email to the wrong person and ask the third party to delete the compromising email and provide evidence of it, to stop the leak from spreading further. 

Here’s when things get interesting! 

Why Current Options Can’t Help

When the recipient opens the letter, the email in question can no longer be returned by Outlook’s default “Recall This Message” feature. 

That “special power” given to you by Outlook is not very consistent. 

If your recipient doesn’t use Outlook, opens the letter from a mobile device, doesn’t have an active Internet connection, or moves email from the inbox section, then your best efforts to turn the content back will have no effect.

Gmail’s “Undo Send” solution is hidden in the clattered settings sections and only gives you thirty seconds to change your mind. Are thirty seconds enough to identify a mistake that often flies under the radar? 

Of course, we can spend hours reminding you about the need to check everything twice and thrice…  but we understand that preaching won’t do any good here, and therefore we feel that a new solution should be presented to you instead.

Revoke That Email with StealthMail 

StealthMail technology not only keeps your circle of communication free of hackers, and therefore phishing correspondence, spam, social engineering tricks, and all the unpleasantries that come with regular email but also gives you the ability to revoke letters with confidential information.

The usage of digital signatures and a two-factor authentication detail help keep the emails safe and ensure that only verified users can get access to your email. 

Yes, get access. Your letters are not exposed to unprotected email channels online, instead, they get encrypted and stored inside your own Microsoft Azure cloud. This makes all the email misdirection woes go away. 

Upon retracing the message back, the recipient will only see a “The sender has withdrawn the content of this letter” note. This feature works across all devices and can return messages even after they have been read, which is useful if you work with contractors. There’s no time limit with StealthMail, and no hassle with its integration, as it can serve you as an Outlook add-in. If you want to distance yourself from the aftermath of the human error, book a free consultation about this solution right now at StealthMail.com.


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