Most companies of today use the internet to conduct at least some business functions. At the very least, companies use email to correspond with clients and vendors. More importantly, employees use their work emails to communicate officially with those outside the company.
If not familiar with the rules, an employee might share sensitive information via email and create a company problem. That is why the Email Acceptable Use Policy is essential for any company to establish.
The Email Acceptable Use Policy should be viewed as a practical guide for a company's employees. It should clearly describe the acceptable and unacceptable uses of company email accounts.
It would be helpful if the policy contains specific details and examples. In this regard, an employer should explain the types of email content that are unacceptable and what for, such as a potential to damage the company's reputation or result in the theft of valuable company information. Similarly, the policy should illustrate acceptable behaviors and exceptions for specific personal uses of company email.
Depending on your state, an Email Acceptable Use Policy may also be known as:
The short answer would be any and every company. It is almost impossible to run a company without an official business email account nowadays. The number of employees is irrelevant because even a simple Email Acceptable Use Policy can go a long way in protecting a company's reputation and valuable information.
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Your Email Acceptable Use Policy does not have to be overly complicated. In most cases, it should cover a few essential rules employees are expected to abide by.
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While an employer cannot force an employee to sign the Email Acceptable Use Policy, the management is tasked with urging all employees to do so. Most employees would consider the act benign, after which they will have a signed acknowledgment that they are familiar with the policy. The document doesn't require notarization by law.
In most cases, after an employee signs the Email Acceptable Use Policy, the employer keeps the original and may choose to return a copy to the employee, physically or digitally.
The social media policy is another document that helps a company to manage the online behaviors of its employees. The policy covers personal social media accounts as well as the management of corporate social media accounts. As it happens, an employee can unwillingly damage the reputation of a company by posting something controversial on social media. Either that or they could accidentally (or perhaps deliberately) disclose confidential information that is of value to the company. Setting up a clear and forceful social media policy can protect a company's image as well as any potentially sensitive information. Nowadays, most companies make sure to create a social media policy.
The corporate email disclaimer is a message of advanced disavowal that accompanies all emails sent through a company’s corporate email accounts, usually below the signature line. It may warn that the email may contain sensitive or confidential information, for one. It may also warn against the reuse of any copyright materials or trade secrets, for another. The disclaimer aims to prevent further distribution or duplication of corporate email content. As an aside, it may also serve to remind employees to not use work email for personal matters.
First, it is important to alert employees to watch out for any unknown links and to avoid clicking on them at all costs. If the sender is unknown, the common rule is to not open any attachments. Crucially, employees should never disclose any customer information via email, or at least when absent of encryption.
The email retention policy is part of the Email Acceptable Use Policy. Some companies choose to incorporate this rule in particular in anticipation of a breach. The policy explains that all sent and received emails will be kept for a certain number of days. It is essential to inform employees of this rule so they can behave accordingly. The email retention policy can be highly helpful in the event of a dispute as it can be located and investigated.
Even traditional companies that do not conduct a lot of work online should have an Email Acceptable Use Policy implemented. Without one, the company is left vulnerable to a range of problems. An employee can knowingly or unknowingly use the company’s email for illegal behavior that can damage the company in several ways. Furthermore, the employer would have no way to keep track of employee email activities and may not have any knowledge of, much less to prove misuse or misconduct.
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