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 — it is also important 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 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.
#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.
#3. Train 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. Provide regular training to help employees identify these scams and report anything suspicious immediately.
#4. Align 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.