Your E-Signature Matters

July 17, 2017 | Bob Covello
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How often do you receive a message from your friends or family that indicates the type of phone they are using at the end of the message? Message tags such as: “Sent using the Galaxy Note 8”, or “Sent from my iPhone” can tell a person a few things about you. Or, how about the messages that “suggest” that you use the same messaging application as the sender, such as “Get Outlook for iOS”?

Think about what your E-Mail signature is broadcasting about you.

First, if you send messages from your work computer, and that computer does not contain the same identifying post-script, then it is easy to know when you are most likely in your office or away from the office.

Next, if you advertise different signatures on your various devices, you may be projecting an image of yourself that you may not necessarily want to be your “final word” on any matter.

For example, imagine if you ended each conversation with an advertisement for your favorite mouthwash. It is funny when placed into the context of a conversation, but when you consider that you probably send many more e-mails than you have actual conversations, you can see the point.

Perhaps you are of the belief that people will “tune out” the signature line of your message. That is as bad as writing a message that you wouldn’t mind that people won’t read. On the other hand, what if people simply do not read the last line of all your messages? That doesn’t seem great either.

When you think about the constant flow of information, coupled with all the advertising to which we are subject to during our online activities, it is easy to see that perhaps it is best to declutter any advertisements from your messages.

Your signature need not be an elaborate display; it should just be uniform across all your communication media. If you use two different messaging applications, you can go so far as to have one signature for your personal messages, and one for your professional messages. My personal messages are signed with a simple “-Bob” at the end.

It doesn’t take much effort to adjust your signatures to be identical across all your messaging devices. It also shows that you consciously took the time to make that choice to be just a bit more thoughtful and “present” in your communication stream. And isn’t that the best reason to communicate?

Bob Covello

About the Author: Bob Covello, Guest Blogger
Bob Covello (@BobCovello) is a 20-year technology veteran and InfoSec analyst with a passion for security topics. He is also a volunteer for various organizations focused on advocating for and advising others about staying safe and secure online.
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