How to Put a Confidential Notice at the Bottom of My Email

by Brad Chacos

With most email programs eager to auto-complete suggested recipients as you type in an email address, it's easy to send an email to the wrong person accidentally. Business emails often contain sensitive information that could have an adverse reaction to a company's bottom line if it falls into the wrong hands. While putting a confidentiality notice at the bottom of an email may not have a legally binding effect, it lets accidental recipients know that they shouldn't share the information found in the email. Adding the notice as a signature ensures every outgoing message contains it.

Outlook 2010

Begin creating a new message, and then open the "Message" tab at the top of the screen.

Click the "Signature" icon, and then choose the "Signature" option. A new window opens.

Click "New" beneath the panel in the upper left corner of the new window. Name the signature "Confidentiality Notice."

Click on "Confidentiality Notice" in the upper left panel, and then add the text of your notice to the box in the lower half of the window.

Select which email account you want to use the signature with in the "E-mail Account" field, and then click "OK" to save the notice.

Thunderbird

Open Thunderbird. Click "Tools," and then "Account Settings."

Click the name of your email account in the navigation column.

Type your confidentiality notice in the "Signature text" field in the middle of the window.

Click "OK."

Gmail

Open a Web browser and log in to your Gmail account.

Click the image of the gear at the top of the screen to open Gmail's settings menu. Click "Mail Settings." The Mail Settings page opens, with the General tab selected.

Scroll down the page until you reach the "Signature" section of the General tab.

Select the radio button next to your Gmail address. Enter your confidentiality notice into the field provided.

Click "Save Changes" at the bottom of the page.

Tips

  • check The University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey offers a sample confidentiality notice that you can use:
  • check "CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE: This email communication may contain private, confidential, or legally privileged information intended for the sole use of the designated and/or duly authorized recipient(s). If you are not the intended recipient or have received this email in error, please notify the sender immediately by email and permanently delete all copies of this email including all attachments without reading them. If you are the intended recipient, secure the contents in a manner that conforms to all applicable state and/or federal requirements related to privacy and confidentiality of such information."

About the Author

Brad Chacos started writing professionally in 2005, specializing in electronics and technology. His work has appeared in Salon.com, Gizmodo, "PC Gamer," "Maximum PC," CIO.com, DigitalTrends.com, "Wired," FoxNews.com, NBCNews.com and more. Chacos is a frequent contributor to "PCWorld," "Laptop Magazine" and the Intuit Small Business Blog.