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Monitoring Email

Monitoring of email is the only way to make sure that no email policy rules are being breached. You can monitor emails that are stored on the company's systems to detect patterns of misuse, but the best way to monitor email is to automatically block or quarantine messages before they are sent or received.

The practicing of email monitoring could also be of help in a court of law, since it shows that the company is serious about preventing offensive messages and unlawful use of the email system. Apart from monitoring mails for legal purposes, attention must also be paid to protect the email system from viruses and spam messages.

Is Email Monitoring Legal?

Some employees may argue that by monitoring their emails, companies are violating their privacy rights. However, court cases have shown that if the employer has warned the employee beforehand that their email might be monitored, the employer has a right to do so. This again stresses the need for an email policy and to include a statement that warns users that their email may be monitored at any time without prior warning.

Here are some interesting quotes about legality of email monitoring:

"Courts that have looked at the privacy issue have generally said that if there is a clear policy that the employer is engaging in monitoring and that employees have been advised they are not to have an expectation of privacy in what they create at work, there probably is not going to be any violation of any privacy right."

- Michael Overly, author of E-policy

"With written policies in place, it is unlikely an invasion of privacy claim would take root. Minus written e-policies, however, you can find yourself embroiled in protracted and expensive litigation. The choice is yours."

- Nancy Flynn, author of the ePolicy Handbook


Disclaimer: The information present above is meant as a general guideline; and does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. Please consult a professional expert or your legal advisor for specific matters related to creation, management and enforcement of your corporate email policies.

Why Do You Need An Email Policy?

By having a good email policy in place you can secure your company in several ways. Firstly, the email policy helps prevent email threats, since it makes your staff aware of the corporate rules and guidelines, which if followed will protect your company more

Creating An Email Policy

Basically an email policy should include all the do's and don'ts concerning the company's email system more

Enforcing Email Policy

There are a number of ways in which you can enforce the company email policy more