The art of email disclaimers - when and when not to use - the law and history
Published: Saturday, July 4, 2020 written by Andy Flagg
View Count: 165
Keywords: Email, Disclaimers, Confidentiality, Viruses, Contract law, Copyright
I was perusing my mind and employers and the latest news and SHRM (socieity of human resource management) website and came across this tidbit regarding email disclaimers - to use or not to use.
It linked me to the Nevada Association of Employers website and this article in the link below.
Basically it says to use or not to use, it depends. For me, about 20 years ago, my business partner got hacked and used his entire contact list and that included me with a ZIP file attachment to review. It went to some 2700+ clients dating back 7 years then, and it was a big concern. I was like, dude!! you're a computer guy and you got hacked? Who does that and why is your master contact list your default contact list in your email? you know our default contact lists are supposed to be blank. Oh well. He was a ding dong and it was a mess. Thank goodness for me, the virus tried to hunt down contacts in my outlook and outlook express and nada... that's right... I knew better. Never keep your contacts in your default contact list and suggested contacts (auto complete) always keep in another location.
How did it happen? what was the liability all around, was there a disclaimer in the email footer, what was the corrective action and forensic investigation results, and more. Basically, it was resolved, yet this conversation from the NEA (nevada employers association - appears to be written by someone who was a lawyer at something similar happened, yes/no?) and go around the history and some case law.
My simple #CyberSecurity Tips 101 (there is more to it than just this - this gets us started...
1. backup your email (two or three levels, layers)
2. keep your contacts backed up and safe (regularly, monthly)
3. do not link your email to other cloud apps unless app secret tokens are used
4. keep your software for your email client handy in case you need to reload it on same or different pc
5. use multi factor authentication to setup and access your email
6. never trust your IT department to do your backups. verify your backups with them regularly.
7. if you ever get audited for email, be sure in advance to know your email retention policy and privacy, confidentiality, encryption, and other risk and compliance settings, policies and procedures and business continuity in case of litigation, hack, or ransomware.
Overall, the NEA article is great, especially reference to precedents and case law. It's a good read worth review and consideration.
more to come...
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