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    By Drew Fox Jordan • October 19, 2021

    Data Security Terms To Know: Autocomplete For Email

    Data Security Terms To Know: Autocomplete For Email

    Autocomplete, or auto-fill, is a feature that displays suggestions for names and email addresses as you start to type them. These suggestions are possible matches from a list of names and email addresses from the email messages you have sent.

    As you start typing a name in the 'To' box, your email provider's Autocomplete feature displays a list of possible choices based on the characters you enter. As you enter more characters, the list narrows.

    So just how common are Autocomplete Mistakes?

    Autocomplete updates its suggested list as quickly as you type each character, so selecting the wrong email address is easier than it looks. In addition, Outlook, Gmail, and other mail providers maintain a history of all the email addresses you enter, not just the ones you store in the Address book. Due to this, these names make their way onto the Autocomplete list.


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    Autocomplete mistakes can happen when you're in a hurry or distracted. For example, you may type a name into the 'To' box, choose the first option, and send — without realizing that Outlook's Autocomplete feature chose the wrong recipient.

    Autocomplete is a handy and productive feature in a workplace, helping to save time. However, it is prone to making mistakes and can cause you to send emails to the wrong person accidentally.

    Should I switch Autocomplete off?

    As the risk of misdirected emails becomes critical for nonprofit leaders, organizations often take an impulsive approach to solving this problem.

    Upon identifying that one of the main culprits for this growing challenge is the auto-complete function over email, the knee-jerk solution by management is to switch the function off, which ends up causing far more problems than it solves.

    The truth is, Autocomplete is helpful, and you shouldn't disable it.

    What happens if I disable Autocomplete?

    There are several reasons that fundraisers should continue to use auto-complete. First, it is imperative to take a holistic approach rather than act in what can be perceived as reckless when dealing with risks such as misdirected emails.

    Why you shouldn't disable Autocomplete:

    1. Misdelivery risk increases due to manual input

    2. Tessian research found that productivity decreases by 30%

    3. Increase in non-authorized, non-controlled communication channels to send messages

    4. Misaddressed Emails do not decrease

    6. Negative experience with technology

    Data security doesn't have to get in the way of fundraisers doing the best work of their lives. Schedule your Gravyty demo today and see for yourself what is possible fundraising with AI:

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