I have a client who recently asked me this interesting question – “Is it OK to use personal email for business purposes?” I know it is always comfortable using the email client that we are familiar with. However, the short answer to the question, we should never use our personal mail for business communication purposes. Even if there aren’t business’ classified information, we should always avoid using our personal email for work purposes. Here’s why.
Clients expect business to look professional digitally – and that applies not only to websites, and to email addresses as well. I always recommend my clients to use a professional email address, as it will promote trust and increase their brand recognition.
Anyone can create these generic email accounts easily from a free service provider, therefore it made it harder for customers and other businesses to determine if such an email address is from a legitimate business email account.
Up until today’s technology standards in the year 2020, there are still companies out there that have yet to embrace business email or to practice internal communication standards. If it happens that your business or the company you working for, it often means the company is technologically incompetent for such basic communication tool.
When it comes to email, I am strongly against mixing communication for personal and job-related purposes. It definitely is not a good practice to follow. Some companies explicitly forbidding their employees to use the company’s email for personal usage.
In the event that you do not have a proper business email account, and email is an important part of your job, I would advise you to create a new email account on a free service provider such as on Gmail or Outlook specifically used for work. This is commonly practiced by freelancers, keeping their personal and professional separate.
Emailing company documents to your personal account could get you in trouble. Have you done this before? You got some work left, and it’s past working hours, you just want to get home. So you just forward those needed files to your personal mail account to get it all done before the next day.
So, what’s the big deal? This action could create a suspicion that you are trying to steal the company’s confidential information. It’s often stated in your employer’s policies to not download or transmit any sort of company information without prior permission.
Password and Security
Other than that, our personal information might be compromised too. We all might be familiar with this, “one-password-for-everything”. It is very common to sign up for websites accounts with the same password as our own personal and business email account. Keep it in mind that we should always avoid this. If that website becomes compromised, so does your business mail account, as well as your personal email account.
Policy and Privacy
Do you also check your work email on your personal smartphone? Now, you’ve got some rights to think about, as the employer has the right to delete all of your personal data. Check if you have signed any “bring-your-own-device” agreement.
Why do they do that? Companies have their own confidential information, and they’ll do their best to secure their information systems. The policy essentially says that if you want the privilege of accessing to the company’s confidential system with convenience on their own personal devices, you’ve gave your employer permission to delete all of your personal data. Of course, it only happen if your device is compromised – or you’re leaving the company.