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Welcome to the IT Developers email newsletter. In this pre-christmas issue and as the holidays loom, we take a look at the ubiquitous 'out of office' messages and whether they raise any security concerns. 

Then, have you ever thought of what pressure an elephant creates when standing on your big toe? Most likely not, but our client focus in this issue is on an engineering company that has to as part of their day to day work. Without the elephant that is! 

We trust you find our newsletters of interest and/or use but at any point, you can select the link at the bottom of every email to unsubscribe. As an alternative and should you wish, please feel free to give us a call on the number above.
Sorry if my Out of Office gave you false hopes of a swift and enthusiastic response!

"Sorry I can't respond to your email. We are enjoying a family holiday for the Christmas break. Back next year, sporting a new tan!"

Most of us opt not to write amusing retorts in our Out of Office message. Similarly we typically avoid advertising an open house for burglars. However there are other security issues to guard against!





Some of the risks!


SPAM:  You will get more spam if you set up an automated response. Automated replies validate that your email address is real. Spammers can note this, making your email address that much more valuable for spamming in the future.


IMPERSONATION:  If you've created an out-of-office reply that lets people know you're away for two weeks, criminals may try to impersonate you online, knowing that you're less likely to notice someone else using your identity.

Also, If your message includes a colleague's name, email or phone number, cyber-criminals can use these details in a spear phishing attack. They can email your colleague with a convincing-sounding message, to trick them into providing sensitive company data.

NOISE:  Depending on your mailer, your out of office message might get sent for every message you receive. If you're on a mailing list, or if someone sends you more than one message, that could generate a tremendous amount of redundant email "noise". In a worst case scenario, an out of office message can even cause a "mail loop" where automated replies bounce back and forth between two systems forever.



Being selective about the information you include in your out-of-office messages is the best way to minimise the security risk:

  • Just say you're 'unable to respond to emails at the moment', instead of providing detailed information about your holiday.
  • Don't promise to reply by a certain date or say when you'll be back.
  • If possible, avoid providing a specific colleague's details. Instead, include a generic email address (like
  • If you feel you must offer a colleague's details, only provide one name. Don't give scammers a whole list of targets.
  • Consider automatically forwarding your email to an alternate recipient or assistant while you're away.
Finally, consider doing nothing at all. The repercussions are often much, much less than you might expect, and significantly safer than the unintended consequences listed above.
Heap & Partners - providing bespoke engineering solutions for 150 years
A client of more than 8 years, Heap & Partners design, manufacture & distribute a comprehensive range of valves & ancillary equipment for a range of industries including Nuclear and Oil & Gas. An engineering firm of near 150 years with more than 700 years of fluid handling experience amongst current staff, Heap & Partners have unrivalled experience in their industry. Some interesting facts:

Custom-made and explosion proof bays provide remote monitoring from anywhere in the world,

Test facilities can deal with valve sizes up to 24"

A stock of over 18,000 line items is available for shipping at any one time,

Test pressures of up to 15,000 psi can be  accommodated. That's:

a similar pressure found in the deepest part of the Pacific ocean in the Mariana trench at over 10 kms, 

 well as being... 

equivalent to a person trying to support 50 jumbo jets !!

"As a business that relies heavily on very stringent quality control systems, we needed a bespoke workflow system to record all activity related to manufacture and testing of our products. IT Developers provided systems that not only increased our efficiency but also integrated fully with production, accounting, despatch & web interfaces. I would fully endorse their business skills and ability to create software solutions to meet precise business needs"

David Millar,Managing Director,
Heap & Partners Ltd  

Click Here to be read more about our work with Heap & Partners.

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Ian Truman, Managing Director

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