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PC Tip of the Month

Double-Check Your Email Address

October 2014 – by Per Christensson

Have you ever wondered why some online forms ask you to enter your email address twice? While it makes sense that you need to verify your password by typing it two times (since the characters are hidden), why do you have to repeat your email address?

The reason is pretty simple: if you mistype your email address in an online form, you will not receive a response. If you don't enter other contact information (such as a phone number or physical address), it may be impossible for the website administrator or support team to follow up with you.

Therefore, you should always double-check your email address before you submit a form. On PC.net, I don't require you to enter your email address twice, since I know many people consider it a hassle, especially on mobile devices. The downside is that I occasionally receive messages from people who I can't respond to because their email address is invalid. Sometimes, I can guess the error and fix it manually (such as changing a 2 to an @ symbol or modifying gmal.com to gmail.com). However, other times I can't guess the correct email address so I have no way of following up with the person.

It's a sad thing to receive a lengthly message with an invalid email address. It's similar to finding a lost cell phone. You want to call the person to let them know you found it, but you can't because they don't have their phone. Similarly, the person who wrote the email probably wonders why he or she never received a response and I feel bad because I have no way of contacting the person.

It's good practice to double-check your spelling and grammar before you submit a form. But most importantly, verify your email address. If you enter your email address incorrectly, you might as well have not submitted the form at all.

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