Beware the Read Receipts Emails

Last week, our Helpdesk assisted a client with a concern they had over those pesky “read receipt” notifications that appear too often in emails. Apparently, more and more email clients on their mobile devices are automatically sending them to any sender without prompting.

We’ve got major issues with this.

First, it allows spammers to validate your email address as active.  Take it from my personal experience, I ended up in every single spam database in the word for ten years because I clicked on a read receipt notification. I still get over a hundred spam emails a day!  Fortunately, our Bit by Bit spam filter does a great job holding them at bay and more than 99% of them land in the Junk folder.

Second, they can potentially cause you legal issues. If you read an email, or even just click through on it on your phone to classify it as “unimportant” for reading, the sender could utilize your read receipt click as proof you read it.  It's not clear on how the courts could rule on the legality of this as evidence in a case.

It happened to me once.  I was one of the lucky ones, and I ended up with only a minor public relations issue, but it could have been much worse.

Besides, I think read receipts are just bad business etiquette, invasive at best, harmful at its worst.

So, how to you get rid of them?  Here’s the steps.

Outlook Web Access (OWA) only

Settings > General > Mobile Devices

Select "Don't send read receipts for messages read on devices that use Exchange ActiveSync" box

Goodbye annoying read receipts!

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