As IT Professionals, we regularly deal with as many user issues as we do technology issues. One of those frequent user issues is email.
We do everything we can to have secure servers and limit the amount of spam and attacks, but we have found that much of our (and your) exposure to risk could be reduced if users would take a little more care with their email addresses.
One of the singularly best things you can do to minimize the amount of exposure your company is at risk to, is for you and your colleagues to use company email for company business only and personal email for personal use only.
If you’re someone who’s currently using your company email for personal emails, read below to find out why this is a terrible idea.
1. Email is owned by the business owner, not the employee.
All incoming and outgoing email of your company address is being archived per the company’s policies, potentially forever, and subject to eDiscovery searches and disclosures. If you don’t want your personal email to end up in a court filing, don’t use the company’s email.
Additionally, your email and your intellectual property are not your own. Read your company policies. You will likely find that anything created, stored, or processed on company equipment is owned by the company. This means that the idea you had for a startup that you emailed to a friend can be taken and used by the business whose email you used.
This also means….
2. Your boss can see your emails.
Your personal email should be private. Company email is not private. Not that they do, but your boss, along with HR, Management, and your IT department does have the ability to view any emails in your company account.
3. You're exposing your company to increased risk to spam and data breaches.
Reality is - by using company email address for signups or purchases, it gets on more and more lists, becomes involved in more breaches. Verified corporate email addresses are valuable to people crafting phishing schemes
As a business owner allowing employees to use their work accounts for personal email:
1. Can lead to increased operational expenses
Allowing employees to utilize company email for personal use increases the amount of data being used and stored on your servers. This could lead to increased operational costs. Storage costs are one thing, but you must also consider backup costs, data recovery, archiving, eDiscovery searches, email migrations and all other factors that could increase in cost as a result.
2. Reduces the daytime productivity of their employees.
While it looks like someone is hard at work solving the world’s problems in their Outlook account, instead they may be fielding personal emails or weeding through online shopping account emails.
And just as you shouldn’t use company email for personal use - you should not use personal email to conduct company business.
Corporate emails should never be “auto forwarded” to a personal email account and you should never allow employees to utilize their personal email accounts for company business.
Allowing employees to use personal email accounts to conduct business means that your company's business information is being stored on mail servers outside of your control, anywhere in the world. You have no way of knowing all the places where your company data is stored, or where it’s been transmitted.
> OUR TOP TIP:
Keep company email for business only and utilize free accounts such as Gmail or Yahoo for personal use.
President/CEO, D.E. Web Works