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7 Ways Your E-mail Can Get You Fired

August 12, 2008

7 Ways Your E-mail Can Get You Fired

U.S. News and World Report, August 4, 2008

Most of us are constantly connected these days, whether it’s through email, cell phone or Facebook. Regardless, it’s hard for us to distance ourselves at work from those outside our corporate walls. In other words, we just can’t keep our mouths shut. After all, according to an msnbc.com survey, 14 percent of respondents said they “constantly send or receive personal email at work”, while 31 percent said they “very often” do, more than 50 percent said they “sometimes or occasionally” do and 9.3 percent said they “never do.”

These statistics are startling when you consider the fact that a survey by the American Management Association and the ePolicy Institute found that over half of all employers fire workers for E-mail and Internet abuse. That’s a lot of jobs lost due to improper communication practices. If this worries you, you might want to read these tips this author suggests you consider while online at work.

    1. “You don’t own your E-mail.” In other words, anything you send from the company’s computer is theirs to claim.
    2. “Freedom of…text?” Anything you send from your company-owned devise is available for employers to read.
    3. “Working from home.” In order to play it safe, always imagine someone was looking over your shoulder when you were reading or sending a personal email. Would he/she be upset to read what’s on your screen?
    4. “Just because you can…” Even if you’re convinced that there are some things you can get away with at work, don’t act upon them unless it’s a productive use of time.
    5. “There are no secrets.” Don’t assume the person you’re sending your email to will be the only one reading it. Imagine the worst-case scenario and assume it would come true.
    6. “What attorney-client relationship?” An attorney-client relationship can be intercepted if the employer’s rules aren’t followed to being with.
    7. “Saved passwords.” Saved passwords leave open doors for employers to enter and snoop around.
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