While social media tends to get most of the attention these days, email remains the preferred way for customers and businesses to keep in touch, and it continues to play a central role in internal communications too. But the sheer popularity of email makes it one of the largest attack surfaces of all. More than half of all emails sent are categorized as spam, and a whopping 92.4% of all malware arrives through email.
As a means to keep in touch, email is both a must-have resource and a costly liability. Keeping inboxes free of spam and malicious software is just one part of the battle — you also need to lay down some ground rules governing the use of email in your organization. That’s why every company should have an up-to-date email policy that teaches and empowers employees to use company email safely.
#1. Draw the line between business and personal use
Though it might seem obvious, one of the first things your policy should make clear is that business email accounts are meant for business purposes only. Many employees don’t think twice about using their business email addresses for personal communications out of convenience. But allowing this can lead to security compromises and reduced productivity.
Moreover, employees shouldn’t be allowed to use their business email addresses for signing up to services that aren’t related to work. Doing so can greatly increase their chances of receiving spam.
#2. Make it clear that all emails are company property
Since business email addresses are provided by the company and meant for business use, every email sent and received using these accounts are the property of the company. This means employees shouldn’t use company email addresses for sending personal emails since these accounts are owned and monitored by the business.
It’s not just a matter of productivity, it’s also a matter of respecting your employees’ privacy. A clear definition of ownership is also important for legal reasons since the content may be requested in some cases.
#3. Train your employees to identify phishing scams
Email is the number one delivery channel for social engineering scams. Although the clear majority of them will be picked up by any enterprise-grade spam filter, there are always a few that make it through. These tend to be the most dangerous ones since they’re often targeted towards specific victims and involve impersonation of a colleague or superior.
Spam messages that are customized rather than sent out en masse are much harder to tell apart from legitimate emails. You must provide regular training to help your employees identify these scams and report anything suspicious immediately.
#4. Align your email policy with your brand
Your email policy isn’t just about setting strict rules pertaining to security, use, and accessibility. As your go-to channel for conversations with customers, it also plays a key role in your brand. To that end, your policy should provide clear guidelines to help maintain brand consistency and a high standard of customer service.
Although not always included as part of a formal email policy, consider including a section offering guidance on things like etiquette, forwarding, and response times. For example, employees should ideally feel obligated to reply to both internal and external emails within a specified time frame.
Capstone IT helps empower businesses in Rochester, Buffalo, NY, West Palm Beach, and the Treasure Coast with technology and expertise tailored to your industry and organizational goals. Call us today for a free consultation.