Legal Reasons For Keeping Email

by Fred Abramson on February 17, 2009 · 0 comments

Your email box is probably stuffed with e-mails. We all know that the Nigerian Money Letter is spam and can be deleted (sorry). But what should you do with your business emails? My advice: keep all email correspondence for 5 years.  Here’s why:  potential litigation.  Email is powerful evidence in court. If your company is public, under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, it is required to keep email.  Failure to do so properly can cost you and your company thousands of dollars.

Here are 5 tips for retention of emails.

1. Have your lawyer prepare a document review, retention and destruction policy for your company.

2. Detail all the ways in which email can be transferred to or from the company.

3. Back up all of your data.  If you are a small company, there are hundreds of companies that will backup your email online inexpensively.

4. Be aware that deleting an email does not mean that the email is destroyed and cannot be found.

5. Train all of your employees to understand your email policies.

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