What is an Email Policy?
When to use an Email Policy:
- Your company has an email system and you would like to set guidelines regarding its use.
The purpose of this policy is to ensure the proper use of 's (hereinafter referred to as Company) email system and make the users (defined below) aware of what the Company deems as acceptable and unacceptable use of its email system. This policy also provides for sanctions in cases of breach of violation of the policy terms.
This policy applies to the use of the Company's email services by the users at the Company's offices, as well as remote locations, including, but not limited to, the users homes, airports, hotels, and client offices.
All company employees, full-time or part-time, independent contractors, interns, consultants, clients, and other third parties who have been granted the right to use the Company's email services are defined as the users for the purpose of this policy and are required to sign this agreement confirming their understanding and acceptance of this policy.
3. Email Accounts are the Property of the Company
All email accounts maintained on the Company's email systems are property of the Company. Company has the right to read and keep a record of any emails that users transmit via the Company's email system.
4. E-mail exists for Business Purposes only
The Company allows its e-mail access primarily for business purposes. The users may use the Company's email system for personal use only in accordance with this policy.
5. Authorized Personal Email Use
Although the Company's email system is meant only for business use, the Company allows the reasonable use of email for personal use subject to the following guidelines:
Personal use of email should not interfere with work. Employees can send them only during non-work hours.
On average, users are not allowed to send more than the number of personal emails a day as fixed by the Company.
6. Unacceptable use of Email
The following acts shall constitute unacceptable use of the email system of the Company:
Use of the Company's communications systems to for a personal business or send chain letters;
Forwarding of the Company's confidential messages to external locations;
Distributing, disseminating or storing images, text or materials that might be considered indecent, pornographic, obscene or illegal;
Distributing, disseminating or storing images, text or materials that might be considered discriminatory, offensive or abusive, in that the context is a personal attack, sexist or racist, or might be considered as harassment;
Accessing copyrighted information in a way that violates the copyright;
Breaking into the Company's or another organizations system or unauthorized use of a password/mailbox;
Broadcasting unsolicited personal views on social, political, religious or other non-business related matters;
Using e-mail to operate another business, conduct an external job search, or solicit money for personal gain;
Transmitting unsolicited commercial or advertising material;
Undertaking deliberate activities that waste staff effort or networked resources;Introducing any form of computer virus or mal-ware into the corporate network;
7. Legal Risks Involved
Email is a business communication tool and the users are obliged to use this tool in a responsible, effective, and lawful manner. Although by its nature email seems to be less formal than other written communication, similar laws apply. Therefore, it is important that users are aware of the following legal risks of e-mail. Both the user and the Company can be held liable for:
a.sending emails with any libelous, defamatory, offensive, racist or obscene remarks;
b.forwarding emails with any libelous, defamatory, offensive, racist or obscene remarks;
c.unlawfully forwarding confidential information of others;
d.copyright infringement for unlawfully forwarding or copying messages without permission; and
e.sending an attachment that contains a virus.
The above list does not enumerate all the legal risks involved. However, by following the guidelines provided in this policy, the users can minimize the legal risks involved in the use of e-mail. If any user disregards the rules set out in this Email Policy, Company can take corrective action up to and including termination of employment.
8. Best Practices
The Company considers email an important means of communication and recognizes the importance of appropriate email content and prompt replies in conveying a professional image and delivering good customer service. Therefore, the Company institutes the following guidelines for users to adhere to:
A. Writing Emails
All email messages sent on company equipment should be professional and appropriate;
Write well-structured emails and use short, descriptive subjects;
The Company's email style is informal. This means that sentences can be short and to the point. However, the use of Internet abbreviations and characters such as smileys is not encouraged;
Signatures must include your name, job title and company name. A disclaimer will be added underneath your signature (see Disclaimer);
Use the spell checker before you send out an email;
Do not send unnecessary attachments. Compress larger attachments before sending them;
Do not write emails in capitals;
If you forward mails, state clearly what action you would like the recipient to take;
Only send emails of which the content could be displayed on a public notice board. If they cannot be displayed publicly in their current state, consider rephrasing the email, using other means of communication, or protecting information by using a password;
Only mark emails as important if they really are important;
B. Replying to Emails
Emails that require a reply should be answered at the earliest possible time;
Prioritize emails from existing customers and business partners;
The users need to request permission from their supervisor before subscribing to a newsletter or newsgroup;
Subscribe to a newsletter or newsgroup only if it directly relates to the nature of your job;
Email passwords should not be given to other people and should be changed periodically;
Email accounts not used for a long period will be deactivated and possibly deleted;
Delete any email messages that you do not need to have a copy of, and set your email client to automatically empty your deleted items on closing;
9. Business Record Retention Policy
E-mail messages are written business records and are subject to the Company's rules and policies relating to retaining and deleting business records.
10. Confidential Information
Avoid sending confidential information by email. Unless authorized to do so, the users are prohibited from using email to transmit confidential information to outside parties. Users may not access, send, receive, solicit, print, copy, or reply to confidential or proprietary information about the Company, its employees, clients, and other business associates.
Confidential information includes, but is not limited to:
b.credit card numbers;
c.Social Security numbers;
d.employee performance reviews;
h.any other information that could embarrass the Company and its associates if the information were disclosed to the public
The following disclaimer shall be added to each outgoing email:
This email and any files transmitted with it are confidential and intended solely for the use of the individual or entity to which they are addressed. If you have received this email in error please notify the system manager. Please note that any views or opinions presented in this email are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the Company. Finally, the recipient should check this email and any attachments for the presence of viruses. The Company accepts no liability for any damage caused by any virus transmitted by this email.
12. System Monitoring
E-mail messages created and transmitted via the Company's email system are the property of the Company. The Company reserves the right to monitor all email transmitted via the Company's email system. Employees have no reasonable expectation of privacy when it comes to business and personal use of the Company's email system.
13. Violations and Sanctions
If an employee is found to violate any of this email policy rules, the Company could take disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment.
The actual penalty applied will depend on factors such as the seriousness of the breach, the employee's disciplinary record, and any other factors the Company deems necessary to consider.
If an employee witnesses email policy abuse by, he/she is required to report the incident immediately to , by phone at or email at .
14. Amendment of Policy
The Company reserves the right to amend this policy at its discretion. In case of amendments, users will be informed appropriately.
If you have any questions or comments about this email Policy, please contact If you do not have any questions, the Company presumes that you understand and are aware of the rules and guidelines in this email policy and will adhere to them.
I have read, understand, and acknowledge receipt of the email policy. I will comply with the guidelines set out in this policy and understand that failure to do so might result in disciplinary up to termination of employment and potential legal action.