Confidential Information – Double Check Before Clicking Send

Sending confidential information through email happens more than you would think…

It’s easy to mistakenly send sensitive and confidential information through email. Often, we ‘reply all’ to emails with many recipients or we forget to redact sensitive information. We can never be too careful about this, especially due to the sensitive nature of work. We often need to remind ourselves, our staff, and colleagues to be aware of mistakenly sending out confidential information through email. At ABAC,  we get many emails from professionals all over the world – and sometimes we receive things we shouldn’t.

Two examples from a single day in the ABAC office

Dear Person A,

I am sorry to report that you sent information about your employee’s certification status to our email. This is an unfortunate breach. Please, in the future, take extreme care when cc’ing and avoid cc’ing info email addresses. It is easy to pick the wrong one since so many exist. Luckily, I am the only one that checks this email account and I will proceed by deleting this email.
Please do not respond to this email but if you would like to contact me directly, please email me at
All my best,

(I should have added…and you never know who is checking an info@ inbox).


Then a few hours later, over at the inbox, this happened.

Dear Person H,

You just sent me a confidential case file with your client’s name in full view. In the future, please only use initials in any document you intend to send electronically. This is a serious breach. I will delete this email permanently but please take care to double and triple check who you are sending information to.

All my best,



How can we avoid emailing confidential information?

Two different senders, completely unrelated to each other, sent two emails to ME in one day containing confidential information. It makes me wonder how many of these types of mistakes happen daily and how many people know how often breaches happen. In both cases, the mistakes may have occurred because of the use of email address autocomplete, a feature that allows you to select from a list of email addresses after you enter in a few letters. Sometimes, if you are not careful you select the wrong one from the list. I know I have and I am very careful now to avoid using that feature.

This isn’t a new problem and one that can have very serious consequences. If you intend to send confidential case files via email, please contact a technology expert to receive training in encryption and other safe file transfer methods.

And always double-check those email addresses.