August 8, 2016
As if you didn't have enough to worry about with email hacks of Sony and the U.S. government, now the Democratic National Committee has allegedly been hacked by the Russians
Although the consensus is not unanimous, most security experts seem to agree that the Russians were behind the breach of the DNC emails.
We've always advised that the "e" in email stands for evidence. To that moniker I would add embarrassing.  And of course, part of the problem is that it's just so easy to shoot something off that's meant for limited (and presumably safe) distribution and then you find that it ends up in the wrong hands.
We've really grown to treat email so cavalierly, as if it's our own private diary, a sort of extension of our thoughts and feelings, but the reality is much different. Email is not private, it belongs to our employer, and can be accessed at any time. If we're involved in litigation, it can be subpoenaed in court and is really just a postcard on the server floor.
What Should You Do?
  • Reserve email for facts, not inflammatory opinions that you wouldn't want your boss or your client to know.
  • If you're embroiled in a conflict, or you feel compelled to gossip with your co-workers, pick up the phone or walk down the hall. Words can hurt, but at least if you speak them, there won't be a permanent email trail. (Although you do not to be aware that employees are recording more and more phone conversations with their managers these days but that is a different memo!)
  • If you're a manager, make sure that your employees are trained in the dangers of creating email records of confidential documents or conversations, as well as embarrassing conflicts. 
  • Make sure that you model appropriate email etiquette by not emailing anything that you wouldn't want your boss, a judge or the Russians to read. Think before you hit send!

Did You Know?

We provide management and employee training on appropriate use and inappropriate use of emails and other electronic communication. For more information, call or write us at: 303-216-1020 or [email protected]

Be sure to read Lynne's helpful books regarding how to handle tough conversations at work.

Workplaces That Work | (303) 216-1020 | [email protected] 
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