Using your work email for personal use could be dangerous. This article explains the reasons behind this, such as privacy concerns, security risks, professionalism, and legal implications, giving you a comprehensive understanding of the importance of separating work and personal communications.
Bob works in a postal services company. He signed up for a health advising web portal’s monthly free newsletters using his work email ID a few months ago. He received a newsletter from them last week; nothing to worry about. But it wasn’t from the health advisory website. Hackers made it look like it was from that site. This scam completely fooled Bob. He clicked on a link in the newsletter, which led to his computer being hacked.
An email is an excellent tool for communication at work. We occasionally use our work email for personal reasons. However, it is precarious for obvious reasons. It might cost you more than just your job. The story of Bob here is just an example of that. Here are 5 reasons you should not use company email for personal reasons:
1. Using work email for personal use is not only unethical but also unlawful
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 spear-phishing
Using a business 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
You have reasons to worry if you are getting personal emails on your work email!
Emails sent or received through a work email account are not private; they can be read by your IT or even your boss. 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.
So, now it’s up to you to decide if you’d share something very private with your friends or family through your work email.
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., use 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!
Let me share another scenario. Suppose you have used work email in other areas like bank account opening. You will also miss their communication once you leave the job unless you update the email address.
5. Corporate email accounts are prime targets for spam and viruses
Corporate email accounts tend to have high activity levels, which means 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?
To summarize, using business email for personal purposes is illegal, makes you a prime target for spear-phishing, is not private, is difficult to retrieve if you leave your employment, and is a prime target for spam and viruses.
So, think again if you’re considering using your work email for personal business. It’s not worth the risks.
Recommended reading: How To Learn New Things Effectively | 5 Simple Steps
FAQ and Answers on Using work email for personal reasons
Is it wrong to use company email for personal reasons?
It is not uncommon for employees to use company email for personal use. It is generally not acceptable to use company email for personal reasons. Some companies have policies that expressly ban this, whereas others may not have any explicit policies but nonetheless frown upon the behavior. Using work email for personal purposes might also pose security problems and clog up the organization’s email servers.
Is it legal to use a work email for personal use?
It depends on the company’s policy. Some companies allow employees to use work email for personal use, while others strictly forbid it.
What is the risk of using a work email for personal use?
Employees using work email for personal use may increase the risk of cyber security threats, such as malware or phishing attacks. Because hackers will consider that employee an easy target, they will also get their personal information easily, enabling them to do spear phishing.
What happens if you use a work email for personal use and then leave your job?
If you use a work email for personal use and then leave your job, your former employer may be able to access your personal email account. Additionally, your former employer may be able to view any emails you sent or received while you were employed. Moreover, if you have used the work email to register on sites like Linked or Amazon, you might lose access if you forget the password. Because reset password links are usually sent to the email address used to sign-up for a site.
Why a corporate email is a prime target for spam and viruses?
A corporate email is a prime target for spam and viruses because it is a large volume of emails sent and received by a company. This makes it an attractive target for attackers who want to send spam or viruses to many people. Furthermore, corporate email accounts have access to a company’s various services and records, making them an attractive target for hackers.
Hello! Welcome to UplifeWay.com, where I, Rifat Hossain, share my zeal for all things tech. With an academic foundation in Advanced Engineering Management and my current role as a Digital Services Manager at Coats, I’ve gained a unique perspective on technology in the professional landscape. My expertise with Microsoft 365 products, fortified by my certification as a trainer, has shown me the transformative power of the right tools in boosting efficiency and productivity. Driven by a desire to empower others to fully utilize technology, I established UplifeWay.com. This blog is more than a resource—it’s a beacon for those eager to master Microsoft Office applications and improve their digital literacy. UplifeWay.com is a testament to my dedication to promoting ‘smart working’. I invite you to embark on this exciting exploration with me, where we’ll elevate our working prowess to unprecedented levels. Let’s journey into the world of smart productivity together on UplifeWay.com.