So I get this email in my Gmail account, from some guy saying he’s looking forward to meeting me tomorrow, and that he has included some details on this brand new proprietary manufacturing process they’re developing, with an attached PPT file.
Obviously, spam, with a virus in the PPT right?
In fact, I was originally going to comment on what a fine piece of spam it was, as it was addressed to me, Elliott, in the body, plus it was quite well written and plus it had all the “this is really REVOLUTIONARY” and “we have to move first on this” style content that would tempt any curious person open the attachment in spite of their misgivings.
But before deleting, I looked up the name and the URL (noting it wasn’t from Hotmail etc) and lo and behold, the sender really is an accomplished entrepreneur with his own agency who has even been featured on CNN Money. Go figure.
So I sent him an email pointing out that he had the wrong Elliott Smith, and he replied almost immediately and apologized for the inconvenience.
I’m still amazed that in this day and age otherwise intelligent people would send highly confidential business materials out onto the Internet to a Gmail account. And given that nearly every business scandal seems to involve highly accomplished executives who are incriminated because of their using email to discuss sensitive issues (see: Conrad Black, the Genuity Financial guys), it makes me wonder:
What is it about email that these people don’t understand?