E-mails in the public domain…

In the wake of the Rep. Foley scandal with the inappropriate contact with a congressional page, companies are definitely taking what they put into their e-mails more seriously. I just heard a newscaster on NBC4 in Washington D.C. mention that corporate companies are telling their employees to be careful what they put in e-mails – “Don’t put in your e-mail what you don’t want to see on the front page of the newspaper.”

Frankly, isn’t this old advice? It’s been around ever since there was a huge debate over whether companies have the right to monitor their employees e-mail and web surfing access. Regardless of whether it’s used at work or not, it can be potentially be used for legal proceedings – just take the Rep. Foley scandal…all the files on computers and e-mails are being saved to be used again the former congressman.

E-mailing is a very useful tool and has rapidly replaced the traditional pen and pencil method of communication. However, it seems to be taken very freely and many seem to think that they can hide their communique deceptively without being caught. As opposed to writing on paper, an e-mail cannot be truly deleted — computer forensic scientists have methods of retrieving those “lost” e-mails, and chances are that your hosting providers have saved them on their servers.

Just goes to show you that whatever you write down can always come back to bite you on your butt if you’re not careful. Write it only if you mean it.

By Ken Yeung

Ken Yeung is a journalist fascinated with the stories of the tech industry and internet culture. He's currently the Technology Editor at Flipboard, where he observes what's happening in the space while also identifying new topics of interest. In addition, he co-hosts the weekly internet show "The Created Economy," which focuses on what's happening to creators and influencers. Previously, he was a reporter for VentureBeat and The Next Web, covering tech startups, the industry's innovations and funding. Ken also has a newsletter you should also subscribe to called "Filed."