The Sarah Palin email circus demonstrates work and personal email should never mix.

sarah palin emailJune 16, 2011 Like almost all modern workplaces, state governments save and archive email being sent back and forth from their offices. Last week the media was given access to over 24,000 emails sent by Sarah Palin while she was the governor of Alaska. Why does the state government have all of those emails? Just like an employee in the private sector, a governor does not own the emails they send from work. Their employer (the state, in Sarah Palin's case) owns the email, regardless of the content. Right now there are thousands of reporters and ordinary scouring through Palin's emails looking for anything of interest. If all of us went through your work email today, what would we find?

Email can live forever
Remember that even though you delete your work email, there is still potentially a long term digital record of your email. Many employees are shocked to find this out, especially when the company receives a subpoena for their old email, in a harassment lawsuit for example, and the IT department turns over mounds of old messages between you and various peers. Nothing you write on your work computer is private. There are many people who can view your messages both now and even years into the future.

Email accidents
Another problem with an inappropriate email is that it can be accidentally sent to the wrong recipients. Just look at what happened to Congressman Anthony Weiner who thought he was sending lewd photos via Twitter to a select few followers, he accidentally sent it to many thousands of people. In a matter of seconds his political career was threatened. You may want to send a joke or comment that your friend would find amusing, but perhaps others in your email address book would be insulted if they saw it. Be sure you know who you are sending the email to.

Your career
Your career and work provides your livelihood. You and your family depend on your success at work. Don't let something like an email ruin your ability to earn a living.

Don't let email indiscretion or accidents ruin you!


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