5 Reasons CEOs are adopting Email Image Monitoring
I’ve often been the recipient of emails from friends where there’s an attached image that I ‘must check out’.
Often they’ve been inappropriate JPGs and I’ve hit delete. And given how disruptive most personal emails are, I now make it a habit to delete all personal emails with strange attachments.
But it got me thinking about how and why CEOs should take email image monitoring seriously. What are the repercussions of inappropriate images on your email?
I asked David Siddal from MailGuard if he could write a guest blog post that adresses this issue.
With email now comprising around 75% of business communications, and staff personal use of the internet generally accepted, the sending, receiving and forwarding of emails and attachments is very easy. The proliferation of digital cameras, smart phones, wireless access points, 3G, broadband, online storage and social media has made the creation and distribution of images just as easy.
Combine these factors and there’s a serious threat posed to business. It’s one that should be an important concern for CEOs.
All images stored on business networks or that pass through corporate email systems are the legal responsibility of that company. As a result CEOs must ensure that their networks do not contain illicit or inappropriate images.
Staff may not have requested these images be sent to them, and may well be completely innocent recipients. But others may send, forward and store such images on a business network, exposing the business to serious consequences.
Most businesses have an Acceptable Usage Policy (AUP) in place to educate staff on what is deemed appropriate usage of company email. However, having the management tools in place capable of monitoring compliance with the AUP, is less common. Such a tool not only allows compliance monitoring, but the management information delivered can be used to help educate and reinforce staff on what is and is not acceptable.
Why are CEOs adopting email image monitoring?
Here are five key reasons why CEOs are adopting image monitoring and analysis of their organisation’s email traffic:
- Mitigating Legal Risk Exposure
It’s not only productivity and reputations that suffer when pornography is downloaded, distributed and viewed in the workplace. Staff members affected are entitled to take legal action if the issue isn’t dealt with properly. And, once lawyers are involved, regardless of the outcome, you will definitely have lost time, lost productivity and incurred unnecessary costs.
- Monitoring AUP Compliance
Having a written policy on pornography in the workplace, whilst important, is not enough in the view of the Australian Human Rights Commission. To avoid vicarious liability in sexual harassment claims, a business must be able to demonstrate it has the systems in place that assist in monitoring compliance with such a policy.
- Reducing Burden on Network Infrastructure
Once staff are aware of their responsibilities, and more importantly, realise there are systems in place to monitor activity, any traffic in pornographic or other illicit images drops away sharply. As a result, internet bandwidth is used for its intended purpose – helping your business run smoothly.
Equally important, reduced traffic with porn removed means less archiving headaches. Not only is the cost of storage reduced with lower volume to worry about, but those little legal time bombs will no longer be sitting somewhere in the archives.
- Protecting your Brand
For business today, being linked to pornography can be a serious blow to its reputation that can take years to rectify. It will not only affect the public’s perception of your organisation, but will make it more difficult to recruit quality staff and retain your clients’ trust.
Your brand is a vital asset, and it’s vital to ensure it is protected.
- Educating your staff
Image monitoring reports can provide a valuable management tool to identify members of staff that are not adhering to company policy. This in turn means staff can be counselled at an early stage about what is appropriate, allowing managers to deal with any issues before they become a major problem. Your staff will also develop awareness that their actions have consequences.
Having management tools in place capable of reducing the risk of legal liability, protecting the reputation of your brand, and educating and enforcing a company AUP, are proving to be valuable for a growing number of CEOs.
Thank you. David Siddal is the marketing copywriter for MailGuard.