Do you have employees that use their own e-mail for company business? Or a Yahoo or Gmail account? If so- listen up- you are putting your business at risk.
While this probably doesnâ€™t apply to big corporations- who should have IT managers that know better (some companies and the US Military block access to yahoo mail accounts and others)- many small and medium sized companies let their employees use any e-mail account- and even sometimes print their personal e-mail address on business cards.
One of my clients- a group of really smart guys- who use computers all day- allow their salesperson to answer all e-mail with his AOL account.
Why is this a recipe for disaster?
Suppose your star salesman has been working on the big deal- the one that will make or break you- and heâ€™s a single guy, who works 24/7/365- you trust him with your life, and he would never go anywhere else- but, one night after he gets home at 3am after pulling together the last part of the bid- he falls over dead.
And all the correspondence that he had with the client- is now locked in his AOL account- with a password you donâ€™t know, and canâ€™t change.
Donâ€™t think it can happen: the class of 1979 had a great guy doing their website for the reunion on geocities- a free site that was great for them. Three months after the 20th reunion, their webmaster died of a heart attack- the site will stay locked in place forever as far as geocities cares- and even his wife wasnâ€™t granted the password.
While that may seem like a worse case- how about the employee who you have to fire? He can continue pretending he is still doing business with you- and will still be in contact with your clients- even after he has gone to work for your competition.
As part of any hosting account with a domain name that belongs to you (www.yourdomainname.com – not yourcompany.yahoo.com or yourcompany.wordpress.com or some other subdomain system) you will have the ability to have e-mails for each employee at your domain name. This not only allows you control over the mailboxes- and where mail is routed, but also helps market your company website with every e-mail sent. Afterall if I get an e-mail from [email protected] I know there is probably something at www.wilderwidgets.com.
If Joe decides to leave- you can then forward all Joeâ€™s mail to his replacement- or to you. You can also add domains for specific job postings- so you know where the e-mail came from. By creating an e-mail address for a specific ad- you have a way of tracking itâ€™s effectiveness- or to find out who is turning your e-mail address over to spammers.
There are all kinds of other tools offered with your own e-mail server like block lists, auto-replies, etc- that are not available from personal e-mail accounts.
With all that being said- I still recommend everyone have an alternative e-mail account from gmail or yahoo, just to be able to double check when e-mail isnâ€™t coming through- or attachment size or type seems to be an issue- but these should only be used when the normal company e-mail isnâ€™t doing itâ€™s job.
Company e-mail- are you proactive?
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