Thursday, January 28, 2016

Risks of Emailing from Work

Do you send personal email from work? Most of us do.

When you send personal email from work using your employer's email client, server and PC or tablet, anything you send may be viewed by your employer or their agent.

You send an email message to the hot chick or guy in accounting asking for a date. You place a bet, send your partner an anniversary email promising a wonderful evening of passion.

It's all legally viewable by your employer. Any privacy you think you have doesn't legally exist.

Even if it did exist, you never know who in the IT Department may be reading it.

Recently, the European Court of Human Rights dealt with a case of personal email being sent on a company computer and found in favour of the company.

Most firms I know have a published IT policy that sets out what their IT infrastructure, including email, may be used for, when, and how.

The Northern Territory Government (Australia), for whom I worked, had a policy that stated that minimal personal use was acceptable but, any transmissions were allowed to be monitored by the IT Department to ensure the use met guidelines.

Further, all formal email messages had to be retained under the government's open and accountable record-keeping policies.

The message here is: don't write a formal or personal email with content you wouldn't want to be made public.

There are scores of cases of people whose careers have taken a hit because of email - just think of Hillary Clinton and the problems she had and how she used a personal server for government email. This is a bit different, but highlights the problems that can occur with something as simple and ubiquitous as email.

Don't get caught doing the wrong thing.


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