Making your IT work for you

Archive for April, 2015

Paul Gadd 

Director – Protocol IT Ltd

Telephone:         01509 278645


Twitter:                @protocolit

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Every effort has been made to ensure that any attachment to this mail does not contain virus. While Protocol IT has taken every reasonable precaution to minimise this risk, neither it nor the sender can accept liability for any damage which you sustain as a result of software viruses.


Protocol IT Limited is a company registered in England number 6442513.

VAT registration No. GB 910 0168 77


Please consider the environment before printing this e-mail.

iphone-msgWe’ve all done it – created lengthy disclaimers automatically appended to the bottom of emails. Thinking that somehow these will protect us from litigation if a viral message gets through, or warning that the email is intended for the named recipient, and if it asks you to delete it.

The effects spiral exponentially, both on the increase in the size of the email trail and information sent in emails. If you also decide to hit ‘print’ then this has implications on the number of tress consumed. So why do we included pictures and reams of legalese? I suspect it’s partly a branding exercise for some companies to create a specific look and feel, for others to conform to assumed legal requirements.

As more of the population moves to smart mobiles, email design needs to be adapted for smaller screens. If content is purely designed for the desktop screen, the knock-on effect on mobile devices results in font size being reduced in order for the full width of the images being displayed. Another point worth considering is that some mail programs are configured not to download the images to save the data usage on mobile contracts. Consequently the time and effort spent on the corporate look and feel is totally wasted…

Personally, I’m not interest in the branding rather the content of the specific message – and the quicker I can read the email content the better. Email signatures and especially those with images don’t align with this, and therefore by default downloading images on my smart phone are disabled.

In January 2015, MP Alan Duncan put forward a bill to Parliament, calling for an email to “useless” legal disclaimers at the bottom of emails.  Sir Alan told MPs the disclaimers were a hangover from the early days of the internet and could be replaced with a link to an attachment.

I’ve decided to replace a lengthy disclaimer at the end of emails with something simple, linking instead to a webpage to view full information. Most people won’t bother reading the legalese anyway, so why bother using up disk space and paper unnecessarily? Maybe it’s time for change, and reduce our data centre footprint along with carbon paper footprint…