7 Crucial Steps to be Considered in an Email Retention Policy

Updated October 6, 2023

In earlier days, there wasn’t enforcement on email records; however, nowadays companies are expected to keep their electronic records, just like paper documents. In order to deal with emerging e-discovery, organizations and management must preserve emails; however, there is a technology that stores email correspondence and saves outgoing and incoming emails. The share of external and internal business communications through email is quite risky. Moreover, masses of emails requiring retention also need administrative related storage costs. To address these problems, the company needs policy-based email retention system that makes sure that all the messages are saved in accordance with company laws and regulations.

Developing an enterprise-wide e-mail retention policy can facilitate consistent rules and uniformity for all electronic and email records. This policy can examine email content, maintenance set, deletion criterion, and provides flexibility to hold lawsuit. It can minimize e-discovery costs, enhance data access, and improve regulatory compliance, improving the performance without leading to litigation or rising costs.

In order to make the e-mail management processes cost-effective, organizations need to form inclusive retention policies, defining permissions for people who can access, delete, or change the attachments, messages, and any other records. To form email retention policy, every company has to follow few steps guided below.

Defining the Policy

It has to be specified, providing insight into content guidelines, document types, and enforcement measures to have a clear understanding of types of the data that it transmits. Content guidelines describe what should and what shouldn’t go into mails document types like email, business contracts should be kept open.

Remove Variable Hindering Centralization

An automated system can save employees’ old attachments and messages on local storage systems that make protecting or tracking emails problematic, leading to any damage. To avoid this, centralized archiving methods can be induced to prohibit staffs from saving emails in personal folder.

Email Workers


Educating the Employees

Many employees may not be aware of the formal e-mail preserve policy formed and hence, it is the duty of every organization to describe the rules of the policy, its reasons, instructions, and consequencesof noncompliance at both personal and business level.

Include only Relevant Regulations

It is very important that policies incorporate the conditions permitted by the management that operates organization; the common regulations, like Sarbanes Oxley, HIPPA, FINRA, data permanence, and data security can be included.

Identifying Roles

Identifying the roles with regulated policy is a must, and they should be formed in the larger e-mail retention policy. For example, physicians, scientists, or pharmaceutical companies can keep test-related emails with them for longer duration, while brokers or dealers at financial services can record on their electronics or gadgets for some years, and then discard them since the likelihood of those records being crucial after a decade, may be very feeble.

On the other hand, there could be criminal cases related to illegal purchase/sales of pharmaceuticals, which may require such old records to be examined even after 10-15 years.

Providing Access to Achieved Messages

A firm establishes overarching rules and regulations for deleting and archiving emails;they must also check that all employees are given access to the electronic records that are required to carry out their dealing tasks. In order to support this, policies can be formed that allows employees to access certain messages to be saved for personal contacts, allowing them to search for achieved mails in both offline and production systems.

Usage of Superior Technology

To attain the purposes formed in its email retention policy, a company should execute a robust and automated solution that is capable enough to check out policy guidelines in an effective and efficient manner.

Author Bio:- Jolie is a cyber-entrepreneur who runs several small businesses and understands the complexities of processes like email retention and similar issues that can be quite a pain for small business owners. He has managed to successfully transform two start-up companies from a team of merely 3 members into SMEswith 15+ employees.

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