Almost every employee in every company has an e-mail address. This has a number of uses, such as communicating with clients and receiving important updates about company policies and procedures. When an employee starts with a company, training is usually very blunt about the e-mail being a company owned resource, and that it should not be used for personal communication. This is disregarded most of the time though, and several people still continue to send and receive personal e-mail through the company related e-mail address.
This is why companies know how to monitor employee’s email. Though they may not look into every specific e-mail that passes through their servers, these companies have safety precautions that allow 3m employee email them to look into the activities that each employee does on the computer. Even though some companies don’t deal with sensitive information, common sense would dictate that there should be a way to look into and prove if a persona is abusing company property or not.
There are different ways available to these companies because they have studied how to monitor employee’s email. Some are able to pull up screen shots in order to see the sites that each employee tries to access. Other companies are able to pull up every keystroke an employee does on his keyboard. Others log in randomly to the computers of each of the employees and check what they are doing. The latter may have warning signals for the user, but the main goal is to remind everyone that somebody is always watching.
It doesn’t matter if companies know how to monitor employee’s email, and whether this is moral or not. The fact remains that they company does own the resource, and has the right to police its use. If one does not want his personal information read by someone else, then the best thing to do is make sure that personal e-mail be confined to the home, and that the company e-mail be used personally only when there is a real emergency.