Using Work Email For Personal Use is Dangerous – 6 Reasons Why

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  • Post last modified:February 9, 2023
  • Post category:Helpdesk Documents
  • Reading time:4 mins read

An email is an excellent tool for communication at work. We occasionally use our work email for personal reasons. However, it is a very bad idea for obvious reasons. It might cost you more than just your job. Here are 6 reasons you should not use work email for personal reasons:

1. Using work email for personal use is unethical.
Most companies prohibit employees from using work email for personal use. It shouldn’t come as surprising, given that the email account is the property of the company, not the employee. As a result, anything done with it holds the company accountable. And above all, it is unethical to use a work email for sending personal emails.

2. Using company email for personal use makes you a prime target of phishing.
Using a work email address to register on social media sites or other online services is a serious offense. Cybercriminals know that you are likely to fall for a phishing email if you have used your work email address to sign up for social media or other sites. Furthermore, it makes it easy for them to develop a social portrait of you by collecting information from your social media activities. Then all they have to do is disguise their message as a genuine notification from a service on which you are registered.

If you fall into their trap, sensitive information could be leaked or stolen. It may give hackers a way into your organization’s network and cause more damage than you can imagine.

3. Your work email isn’t private.
Emails sent or received through a work email account are not private; they can be read by IT and administration. At least they have the right to do so as long as they serve a legitimate business purpose. Some companies allow an outgoing employee’s replacement access to their mailbox.

Many businesses strengthen this privilege by informing employees in writing (for example, in an employment agreement). Even if your company does not have a written email policy, it has the legal authority to read employee emails sent or received from an official email account.

4. If you leave your job, it can be difficult to recover an account or information.
There is no such thing as a permanent job. You may decide to leave your current job at any point. You will lose access to your work email account if this occurs. So, if you use a company email address for personal communication, e.g., used it to sign up for a site like LinkedIn, you’ll find it challenging to restore the password if you forget it. Password reset requests are usually delivered to your registered email address. Furthermore, your account-related important notifications, e.g., unusual sign-in activities, are also sent to the registered email address; you’ll miss those too!

5. Corporate and government email accounts are prime targets for spam and viruses.
Corporate email accounts tend to have high activity levels, which means there are more opportunities for spammers and viruses to find and take advantage of. Furthermore, corporate email accounts have access to a company’s various services and records, making them an attractive target for hackers. So, why put your personal accounts at risk by connecting them to such sensitive business emails?

6. If you work for the government or public school, your emails may be subject to Freedom of Information Act Requests.If you work for the government or public school, your emails are public record. If a citizen files a FOIA request, they would possibly be able to see your private correspondence as well as what accounts you have set up online. That could be pretty embarrassing.

So, if you’re thinking about using your work email for personal business, think again. It’s not worth the risks.