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Any business email can be a business risk

Most of us send out emails without a second thought. It’s a quick way of communicating with people, isn’t it? However, every corporate email has the potential to damage your business throughout its life cycle.

Let us show you how below:

Composition

An email needs to be written before it can do any damage, right? Before a single word has been composed in an email, there is still the potential for risk. It could be a joke between colleagues that could be deemed tasteless by others, an important announcement that is not yet publicly known or something is occurring regarding the internal politics of your business. Every email starts out the same, but as they are written, some become more important than others.

Attachments

An attachment has the potential to bring down an entire business. The wrong email attachment going to the wrong email recipient can cause legal problems, even if it was sent by accident.

Sending

When an email is sent to the wrong person, it’s too late to recall the message. Information leaks, data loss and security breaches can then be tracked back to an employee who may end up losing their job. At the same time, your business will now have to take action and do some form of damage limitation.

Read/Reply

It’s important to think how an email should be replied to. If a business email contains sensitive information, a throwaway reply simply isn’t going to cut it, as they can be liability and compliance issues to be considered.

Retention

Once an email has been sent, it has to be retained for compliance purposes. The industry you work in will bring with it different requirements regarding the retention of email data.

Dangers occur when emails are retained for too short a period of time or are not saved in an adequate format. If a business email has sensitive information and is not archived in a secure environment, you risk breaching important industry regulations.

Consequences

All of these points may sound a bit overwrought but the consequences are something you need to take very seriously. A breach of compliance regulations can result in huge financial sanctions and time in prison. If you were to receive a lawsuit that you lost, the legal bills could destroy the finances of your company.

The only way to reduce these risks is to think carefully through every stage of composing, sending and retaining business emails. Even the most minor of mistakes can have catastrophic consequences.