by phoxis

Just an interesting things which happened last Friday.

Clipboard is a piece of software which adds the general copy-paste feature in your computer. In Linux based operating systems generally one can get a type of clipboard where multiple things can be copied and later selected for pasting. There is another feature, if you highlight a text with the mouse cursor, it will automatically be copied, which can be pasted with a middle click. And the normal Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V is still present as usual. A point to note here is, if you select a text using the cursor, then it will be pastable by middle click, and not by Ctrl+V, and if you copy something with Ctrl+C then it will not be pastable by a middle click.

I use the clipboard for saving short texts quickly which I can select to paste later. Like while writing this post I will keep on pressing Ctrl+A and Ctrl+C so that I can retrieve the text whenever required, it’s like a save feature for me. Although saves the posts automatically (thankfully), but it has become a habit.

What happened is as follows. I drafted an elaborate email explaining some technical stuff wrote an email in a plain text editor. The mail was targeted to a smaller group of audience, and not for all. I wrote the mail and as usual keep on doing Ctrl+A and Ctrl+C time to time. After I finished, I pasted the mail into the mail composer and sent it to the persons to whom I was supposed to send. Everything is fine till now.

After say two or three hours, I was chatting with a person to whom I had to give an IP address (A number to identify a computer in the Internet or in a network uniquely). To give him the IP address I selected the IP address text to copy it, and intended to paste it with the middle click. But instead I pressed Ctrl+V and enter, in that sequence. Muscle memory. And the entire email was pasted and sent to the person. Interesting thing is that, the person to  whom I sent this was not in the to-send email list and there was no undo button.

What did I loose: Nothing. Thankfully. This is because the information was not something confidential, and was just kept from the other people because they were not required to read the email content.

Lesson: Clipboard feature is fantastic, but when used responsibly. Because you may copy credit card numbers, bank account numbers or any other sensitive data, which may stay in the clipboard software for a long time. Therefore it is always a good idea to clear the clipboard history (there is an option in Linux) time to time, or when you have finished some private transactions.