E-mail Liability

October 7, 1998
Here are some tips on protecting yourself and your company from liability with respect to electronic mail:

  • Protect your password. Use a non-obvious password. Change your password frequently.
  • Watch out for scammers—people who try to deliberately acquire, your password for inappropriate uses.
  • Protect your computer from unauthorized users and use.
  • Don’t leave your computer on with the e-mail program running.
  • Don’t share your password with unauthorized users.
  • Don’t put your password on a post-it sticker and leave it pasted to your computer screen.
  • Share your password with your secretary and your supervisor, if policies allow.
  • Don’t use anyone else’s computers or e-mail, without express authorization.
  • Don’t read others’ e-mail—on their computer screen, on their desk, at the laser printer, garbage can, or recycling bin. This may be viewed as a violation of business ethics, company policies or legal requirements. You may be subject to disciplinary action, or legal penalties.
  • Don’t encrypt messages without special authorization.
  • Don’t download copyrighted materials.
  • Remember that you’ll be held responsible for what you say in an e-mail. It is not entirely private.

Source: Direct Contact Publishing, Kennewick, WA, September 8, 1998.