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Top Email Maintenance Tips

I’ll admit it: in the past, I have been a hoarder of emails. Some people have a tendency to hold on to certain things. I held on to emails.

Not all of them, mind you. I held on to the ones that were related to business, or certain other ones that I felt were important and that I “might need again”. The problem was that I almost never did need any of them again, but I never deleted any of them. As a result, if I ever did need one of my old emails, I would have pages upon pages to search through in order to find that one specific message.

For some, this may not be too much of an issue, but if you receive any real volume of email, or if you have been collecting emails for many years, you will possibly find your email slowing down or lagging. To combat this, you should be putting into effect the best practices for email maintenance.

Regaining Lost Speed

 If you find your email slowing down, there are a couple of things to try that should help:

  • Old emails should be deleted or archived. With sufficient volume, you may even find your mailbox freezing or crashing.
  • Empty out your Deleted Items file on a regular basis. Items in this folder continue to take space and may contribute to the slow loading of your mailbox.
  • Those emails with attachments can take up considerably more space than the average email. Don’t need them anymore? Already downloaded the attachment? Delete them.
  • Something that took me a while to realize: you don’t need to keep every email in a chain. Why? Because you are hanging on to duplicates for no reason. Delete all but the most recent to free up some space. (You can right click the folder and choose “Clean Up Folder” to speed this up.)

Getting More Organized

When you start to have a large number of emails, you don’t want to be wasting a lot of time going through them to find what you are looking for. Get them organized to make things easier.

  • Organize your emails in a logical manner that will help you find what you need, whether that be by person, topic, or a specific project. Smaller groups will be easier to search through.
  • If you find that you no longer need a folder, it can be archived into a PST file and removed from the server. This will free up space for you.
  • Avoid storing anything important in the Deleted Emails folder. You may find that a maintenance sweep removes it unexpectedly…
  • Avoid creating duplicate emails. Do not cc yourself. If you should happen to need a copy of a sent email, you can always find it in your Sent Items folder.

Be Wary of Unusual Emails

When you receive emails with strange subject lines, or sent from unknown addresses, it pays to be cautious. This becomes even more important when there is a link to click, a file to download, or an attachment to open. Better safe than sorry.

Emails that seem to have been sent from your own email address can be safely ignored as phishing attempts, seeking to have you download a virus, or take some other similarly harmful action. You may also find that scammers have spoofed the address of someone else in your organization.

If something looks suspicious, investigate before opening it.

There’s no getting around using email, especially in a business setting. However, there are definitely practices that should be followed to ensure that your email usage is quick, efficient, and most importantly, safe.

For all your email security needs, contact Safe Harbour today!