Daily Archive June 15, 2009


Rethinking the Etiquette of File Sharing by Email

Email etiquette—how 1994! Although it might seem like email etiquette is a thing of the past, most of the same rules still apply. Don’t type in all caps, don’t open attachments from strangers, and, of course, don’t bog down someone’s network with huge files you wouldn’t be happy to receive yourself. In today’s world, however, sending those files can be a business necessity. What’s a company to do?

The easiest plan is to compress the file. Think of compressing like putting the file in one of those storage bags you vacuum the air out of. It’s smaller, easier to pack and send, and requires an extra bit of effort to open it back up. By virtue of being smaller, it’s less likely to clog the recipient’s system or be blocked by their firewall for being too large.

If compressing isn’t the answer, check to see if you have a shared network resource you can place the file on. The recipient can then easily pick the file up without any compressing, unzipping, or hassle. If the recipient is a client or customer you are comfortable with, ask them if there is a shared location you can send the file to. Again, with a minimum of effort they can retrieve the file without any email program getting cranky about it. This is especially important with executable files. Firewalls and anti-virus programs tend to flag these files and may quarantine them if you are sending them by email, whereas with a shared location you can avoid all of the interference.

Last but not least, always explain any attachment you send either by email or to a shared resource. Viruses love to tag along on as attachments, but it’s far less likely one is hooked to a known attachment. That’s old news, but you’d be surprised how often it’s forgotten. Do yourself a favor, and be kind to the people you send files to. It makes good business sense, and that never goes out of style.