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There are many issues regarding computer security and email security. There are the issues of personal security, company liability and viruses to name a few. This section will give you an overview of security issues and email.

Personal use & security
Workplace email & security

Personal use & security

Email is a quick way to send information but it is not secure. If you would not be happy to have anyone else read your message or view an attachment, it would be better not to send it by email!

In the workplace, the email system is meant for business use, but most companies allow for some private use of email. However, you need to be aware of your company's email policy.


Workplace email policy & security

There have been legal cases regarding the use of email where a company has been found guilty of libel over email content. Email is a business tool and users are expected to use it in a responsible, effective and lawful manner.

Legal risks

You are not allowed to send emails that offend another person. You need to be aware of the legal risks of email. These are:

  • if you send emails with any libellous, defamatory, offensive, racist or obscene remarks, you and your company can be held liable
  • if you forward emails with libellous, defamatory, offensive, racist or obscene remarks, you and your company can be held liable
  • if you unlawfully forward confidential information, you and your company can be held liable
  • if you unlawfully forward or copy messages without permission, you and your company can be held liable for copyright infringement
  • if you send an attachment that has a virus, you and your company can be held liable.

Legal requirements

There are laws governing the use of email based on the legal risks.

  • It is strictly forbidden to send or forward emails that contain libelous, defamatory, offensive, racist or obscene remarks. If you receive an email like this, or are the subject of an email like this, you must immediately notify your supervisor.
  • You must have permission from the sender to forward an email to another person .
  • Do not forge or attempt to forge email messages.
  • Do not disguise or attempt to hide your identity when sending email.
  • Do not send email messages from someone else's account
  • Do not copy a message or an attachment belonging to another person without the permission of the originator.



Most viruses are transmitted through email. There are some precautions you can take to minimise the risk of viruses. These apply to both private use and business use of email.

  • Do not open any attachment that you are unsure about or if you do not know the sender!
  • If your email program has a preview pane, use it to preview your message before opening.
  • Run a virus check on any attachment before you open it.
  • Many companies have anti-virus software on their servers to filter out viruses. This is one preventative measure, but you should still virus check any attachment.


Tips for effective emails






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