Tophawks Email Use Policy


Policy scope
This policy applies to all employee at Tophawks who use the company email system on any device, no matter whether owned by the company or employee.
 
Business email use
Tophawks recognises that email is a key communication tool. It encourages its employees to use email whenever appropriate. For instance, staff members may use email to:
• Communicate with customers or suppliers
• Market the company’s products
• Distribute information to colleagues
 
Personal use of email
The company also recognises that email is an important tool in many people’s daily lives. As such, it allows employees to use their company email account for personal reasons, with
the following stipulations:
– Personal email use should be of a reasonable level and restricted to non-work times, such as breaks and during lunch. 
– Inappropriate content is always inappropriate, no matter whether it is being sent or received for business or personal reasons
 
Authorised users
Only people who have been authorised to use email at Tophawks may do so. Authorisation is typically granted when a new employee joins the company and is assigned their login details for the company IT systems. Unauthorised use of the company’s email system is prohibited. Employees who use company email without authorisation — or who provide access to unauthorised people — may have disciplinary action taken against them.

Key areas
Email security
Used inappropriately, email can be a source of security problems for the company. Users of the company email system must not:
– Open email attachments from unknown sources, in case they contain a virus, Trojan, spyware or other malware.
– Disable security or email scanning software. These tools are essential to protect the business from security problems.

– Send confidential company data via email. The IT department can advise on appropriate tools to use instead.
– Access another user’s company email account. If they require access to a specific message (for instance, while an employee is off sick), they should approach their reporting manager or the IT department.
– Staff members must always consider the security of the company’s systems and data when using email. 
 
Inappropriate email content and use
The company email system must not be used to send or store inappropriate content or materials. It is important employees understand that viewing or distributing inappropriate
content via email is not acceptable under any circumstances.
 
Users must not:
– Write or send emails that might be defamatory or incur liability for the company.
– Create or distribute any inappropriate content or material via email. Inappropriate content includes: pornography, racial or religious slurs, gender-specific comments, information
encouraging criminal skills or terrorism, or materials relating to cults, gambling and illegal drugs. 
– Use email for any illegal or criminal activities.
– Send offensive or harassing emails to others.
– Send messages or material that could damage Tophawks’s image or reputation.
 
Any user who receives an email they consider to be inappropriate should report this to their reporting manager or supervisor.
 
Contracts and liability
Users must be careful about making commitments or agreeing to purchases via email.
An email message may form a legally-binding contract between Tophawks and the recipient
— even if the user has not obtained proper authorisation within the company.
 
Email marketing and bulk email
Tophawks may use email to market to existing and potential customers. There is significant legislation covering bulk email and use of email for marketing. All email campaigns must be authorised by the marketing manager and implemented using the company’s email marketing tool.
Users must not send bulk emails using the standard business email system instead use third party bulk email system with due approval from his or her reporting manager or IT department.
 
 
Email best practice
Email etiquette

Email is often used to communicate with customers, partners and other important contacts.
Although a relatively informal medium, staff should be aware that each email they send does affect the company’s image and reputation.
 
It’s a good idea to follow rules of good email etiquette. 

 
Users must:
-Not forward on chain emails or ‘humorous’ messages. These clog up people’s in-boxes and some topics are not appropriate for the workplace
– Always use a meaningful subject line rather than leaving it blank or using a single word like ‘hello’.
– Only use the ‘important message’ setting sparingly, for messages that really are important.
– Never ask recipients to send a ‘message read’ receipt. Many people find these annoying and not all email services support them.
– Not use ALL CAPITAL LETTERS in messages or subject lines. This can be perceived as impolite.
– Be sparing with group messages, only adding recipients who will find the message genuinely relevant and useful.
– Use the ‘CC’ (carbon copy) field sparingly. If someone really needs to receive a message, they should be included in the ‘to’ field.
– Use the ‘BCC’ (blind carbon copy) field to send group messages where appropriate. It stops an email recipient seeing who else was on the email.
 
Internal email
Email is a valid way to communicate with colleagues. However, it tends to be overused for
internal communication.
Users should keep these points in mind when emailing colleagues:
– Would the issue be better addressed via a face-to-face discussion or telephone call?
– Is email the best way to send a document out for discussion? Often, it becomes very hard to keep track of feedback and versions. It’s rarely necessary to ‘reply all’. Usually, it’s better to
reply and then manually add other people who need to see a message.
 
Policy enforcement
 
Monitoring email use
– The company email system and software are provided for legitimate business use.
– The company therefore reserves the right to monitor employee use of email.
– Any such examinations or monitoring will only be carried out by authorised staff.
– Additionally, all emails sent or received through the company’s email system are part of official
– Tophawks records. The company can be legally compelled to show that information to law enforcement agencies or other parties.
– Users should always ensure that the business information sent via email is accurate, appropriate, ethical, and legal.
 
Potential sanctions
Knowingly breaching this email use policy is a serious matter. Users who do so will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment. Employees and other users may also be held personally liable for violating this policy. Where appropriate, the company will involve the police or other law enforcement agencies in relation to breaches of this policy.
However, the company is unlikely to take formal action if a user fails to adhere to the guidelines in the ‘email best practice’ section.