Definition

corporate email policy

Contributor(s): Tayla Holman

A corporate email policy is a management document that formally outlines how employees can use electronic communication tools. The policy sets guidelines for what is deemed acceptable use and unacceptable use.

A company should have a corporate email policy in place to warn and guide employees against email threats such as phishing attacks. The policy may place limits on what types of files employees are able to open, download or exchange with others. The policy should outline what to do if an employee receives an offensive email, to protect against legal liability.

A corporate email policy may also include language covering personal usage of corporate communications systems, stating whether personal emails are accepted, if there are certain times of day during which personal emails can be sent, and if personal emails should be saved to a separate folder. Detailed guidance about prohibited content and the treatment of confidential data should also be included. Compliance and email retention may also be addressed.

Software tools are available that monitor and report on email content that may violate established policies. To enforce the guidelines outlined in the policy, a company should perform regular training that outlines email best practices and reinforces the consequences of email misconduct.

This was last updated in January 2016

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