Tracking Emails that get forwarded or replied to others

Posted on 2005-04-21
Last Modified: 2012-05-05
A question was asked the other day at work if there is a way to track ( or notify the sender ) if their email gets forwarded or replied to someone else other then the sender of the email.


Question by:awehme
    LVL 5

    Accepted Solution

    Hi -
    From using just the eMail client of outlook in a non Exchange environment the short answer is No -- you cannot set Outlook up to tell you if a message you sent has been forwarded by someone else.  Again, this applies to individuals that use Outlook to manage their POP3 accounts for an ISP ( for example)

    If the question relates to an internal network using Exchange server the answer is Yes, it can be tracked -- however you as a client cannot set that up.  It would require the Exchange admin to set up that process and I'm not entirely sure they would think it's worth the time / effort.

    On a tangential issue -- only put into email what you are willing to have forwarded to the world.  I tell my students and clients that email is 1) Permanent and 2) Public.  Once you click send you really have no control over what happens to the content.

    Hope this helps,
     - Sinjin
    LVL 17

    Expert Comment

    You can't trace reliably on an Exchange server either.

    What is to stop me from opening your message, copying and pasting all of the content into a new message, and sending it on to anyone I want ?

    LVL 5

    Expert Comment

    Hi -
    You are absolutely correct in that statement -- there is almost nothing that will keep someone from copying and forwarding your original content.  I thought you were looking for tracking only.  Prevention is something else that the client can't do - EXCEPT if you mark a message with sensitivity level of Private, which prevents altering the original content but message can still be forwarded.

    This link discusses the different sensitivity levels and what they do...
    LVL 76

    Expert Comment

    by:David Lee
    And even if there was a way to prevent forwarding messages, or to block copy and paste operations, it'd still be possible to simply invite other staff to have a look at a message while it's on screen, print the message and pass it out, fax it, or even retype the message from scratch.  Sinjin is dead on in his initial post, "only put into email what you are willing to have forwarded to the world".
    LVL 2

    Author Comment

    Sinjin gave me the answer I was really looking for.  We were just wondering if there was a way to track the email not try to prevent the user from ever forwarding the email.  We just wanted to know where and whom the emails were getting sent too.



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