Your Work E-mail Isn’t Private

Photo by turtlemomforbacon’s photos

Your cat isn’t the only one reading your e-mail. 

As everyone scurries around preparing for a recession and focuses on trying to secure a new job, new networking contacts and a stable paycheck for the future, it is a good time for a reminder about privacy issues with your work computer, e-mail use and online time.  In a word – they aren’t private.

Hopefully, this does not come as a surprise to anyone.  NBC’s Today Show reported today that 50% of businesses routinely scan their employees’ e-mail.  Around 19% of companies hire someone whose job it is to review e-mail coming from the office.

In theory, businesses are hoping to protect trade secrets and learn about potential harassment situations by scanning e-mails.  In reality, anything that you send from your work computer becomes fair game for review and potential disciplinary action, including termination.

So, be sure to review your company’s policy regarding work computer use.  Recognize that anything you send or receive on your work’s network is fair game for “big brother” to review.  If you are engaged in an active job search and have been spending a lot of time on job boards or sending resumes and applications, it could bite you when you least expect it. 

It is best to do your job seeking activities on your own personal computer using your personal e-mail address.  You don’t want to invite a pink slip that may not have been earmarked for you as a result of your own actions.

Keppie Careers will write your resume and help you with your job search:


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February 2008
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