Risky Behaviors in Email Communication
If you’re not careful about how you respond to clients over email, you could risk losing contracts, damaging your reputation, and even being sued for breach of confidentiality. Forbes.com offers some of the following tips to avoid PR nightmares and liability offenses with your email behavior.
Beware of hitting the “reply all” button. If you’re responding to multiple contacts, delete the email thread history in your message to avoid potentially exposing private information. Make a point to review each message carefully, check it for spelling and grammar, and note recipients who are copied on the email before pressing “send.”
Consider confidentiality footnotes. Forbes.com cites one company’s policy to include a footnote on all emails saying: “This email is intended only for the person or entity to which it is addressed and may contain information that is privileged, confidential, or otherwise protected from disclosure. Dissemination, distribution, or copying of this email or the information herein by anyone other than the intended recipient, or an employee or agent responsible for delivering the message to the intended recipient, is prohibited. If you have received this email in error, please immediately notify us by replying to sender.” Such language does not necessarily protect the company from legal action, but it can serve as a warning to email recipients about the pitfalls of sharing or forwarding confidential emails.
Avoid emailing when tired or angry. If you get an email that really irks you, wait to respond. “The terse message that seemed justified in the heat of battle may seem worse than intended to the recipient,” notes Forbes.com columnist Cherly Conner. “Additionally, the gaffe will be intensified if the receiver is sufficiently offended [and shares] the message with others.” Also, be sure to avoid sarcasm in your emails; your intended meaning may get lost in translation.
Source: “Do These 8 Things to Reduce Email Risks,” Forbes.com (May 29, 2017)