I’ve had this topic come up in conversation several times of late and I have to admit I hadn’t considered it at all before, but allowing employees to use personal email for business correspondence is a very bad idea. Most of us have business email accounts for our companies to safeguard our interests, to protect the information that moves from employee to employee and to insure consistency and the company identity to outside vendors. The admin (this should be you in most cases) can get into these accounts at will to verify employees are doing what they should be doing and to retrieve data, passwords or other info that is tied to the employee email account. Having this ability is vital in any number of scenarios that I won’t take the time to explain here. Most of us have business email accounts but many of us don’t demand that they are used by employees. What does it matter? It matters because if you are allowing employees to conduct your business on their private email account then you have no way of knowing what they are up to or if they are looking out for your best interest. This is never a good scenario.

Here is the take home message – one I hadn’t even considered until I was recently made aware through experience and conversation:

1) If you don’t have company email accounts for your employees then strongly consider getting that set up.

2) If you have company email then make it policy that employees must use the business email for all company activities.

3) Inform vendors in writing that only requests and orders made via company email are valid.

4) Follow up and make sure everyone is using company email accounts. If they aren’t then reprimand them or even take steps to terminate them.

5) Make it policy not to respond to emails sent from your employees if they are not on their company email account.

This is serious business. It’s a dangerous world out there so be sure to protect yourself and your business from those who are eager to illicitly profit from your efforts.