Keeping your Email Safe

By Jim Minutelli

As most of us are aware, our WV Conference, and more specifically, the Bishop and her Cabinet, has been under attack by hackers and scammers for several days now. Most of these attacks are in the form of emails and texts which look to be coming from our District Superintendents. These are very serious, and all of us need to stay vigilant and wary of anything that we receive.

One significant way that we can help keep our email addresses, and the email addresses of our colleagues & friends, from being compromised is by using the BCC function to share, or to reply to, information within a larger group.

BCC stands for blind carbon copy and by adding your recipients’ email addresses into this BCC field instead of the To or CC field or to Reply All, it conceals or hides the recipients’ email addresses from the other recipients. This also keeps anyone from using the Reply All button to respond to your email and maybe further compromising the email chain.

Most email programs have the option to BCC listed a few lines below the To: field. Sometimes, though, it is a separate option that is not listed by default. If you cannot locate it, check the help menu or the software’s documentation.

More information on protecting your emails is forthcoming, but you can read more about recognizing phishing emails and how to handle them at this link.

Report phishing emails and texts.

According to the FTC, you can report phishing emails and texts:

These few simple steps of awareness on our part can keep us alert and better in charge of our online presence. Most email providers now have ways to report phishing emails, and when reported they will take the emails down, so please do report.

For more information about phishing, visit

If your church or organization is experiencing issues with being impersonated, visit for more info.

Jim Minutelli is a Certified Lay Minister in the Greenbrier-Wesleyan District and a member of West Milford United Methodist Church.