Electronic Mail Guidelines

Equipment and information in any form is considered an asset of the company and thus must be properly used and adequately protected. This includes the transmission of information over computer communication networks.

Electronic mail systems are a company resource that without guidelinesand sound business practice, could experience severe trauma resulting in deteriorating message delivery and response time or, even worse, system unavailability.

Special note and refrain should be paid to the circulation of chain letters. This activity causes a dramatic increase in the allocation of disk space to user data, a dramatic increase in the likelihood of a computer virus, worm, or Trojan Horse attack, and places a strain on resources that could result in extended outages.

Also, e-mail and other forms of electronic communication are like any other written communication, and are subject to subpoena. This today is one of the most awesome tasks facing corporate management. To make Electronic Mail management even more complex, it is tightly-coupled with document retention (by the way, we also have document retention guidelines click here).

Many times e-mail is good! First, retained e-mail enables a company to respond to any client request or issue after a project has commenced or completed. Second, in the event of a dispute with a customer, vendor, or other third party, a company must be able to defend itself and prove what it did on the project and how it complied with its duties or obligations. Thus, if the e-mail / document in question is necessary to any of these purposes, it should be retained.

So, what are the E-mail risks?

Following is a quick summary of some of them:

  • Legal Liability - As mentioned already, e-mail correspondence is disclosable in legal proceedings. To have a leg to stand on at all companys need to, at a minimum, publish guidelines regarding the usage of their company provided electronic mail systems. If not, usually it's employers rather than employees who are held legally responsible for the contents of messages, and any associated viruses transmitted from their e-mail systems.
  • System Unavailability - Personal / non-business use causes a substantial increase in the allocation of disk space to user data, a dramatic increase in the likelihood of a computer virus, worm, or Trojan Horse attack, and places a strain on resources that could result in deteriorating message delivery and response time or, even worse, system unavailability.
  • Detrimental Resource Usage - Personal / non-business e-mail which quite often contain large attachments, e.g., videos, pictures, etc. use substantial network bandwidth and disk space, which results in a reduced availability of these resources for business related needs.
  • Lost Productivity - A significant amount of e-mail handled by a company’s electronic mail system is not of a business nature. Surveys indicate that the majority of employees use company provided electronic mail systems for personal correspondence. This also has an impact on mail server performance and space utilization.
  • Harm to Reputation - This can happen via e-mail containing offensive,inappropriate, or confidential material.
  • Confidentiality Violations - This can include the divulging of closely guarded company information, e.g., the company's strategic direction, new product plans,other internal information, etc. This could happen accidentally or on purpose.

So, what good will our guidelines do?

You can manage the above noted risks formally by publishing guidelines or policy (policy can be easily formulated from these guidelines). Following are some of the positives that can begin to result from publishing your Electronic Mail Guidelines:

  • Greatly improved Electronic Mail usage focus
  • Fewer Electronic Mail incidents
  • Reduced legal risk
  • Fewer audit concerns / comments
  • Delivery of best practice information to employees
  • Greatly improved business focus

This great little PDF e-Book (27 pages) is adaptable to all business types.

Most of all, there is no waiting! This document will be available via download... and you could be implementing it in a matter of minutes.

To enable the above mentioned positive aspects for your business, there's no reason not to download these Electronic Mail Guidelines today.

This solution will address the Electronic Mail Monster.

Electronic Mail Guidelines

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