Efficiency is great, but it should never come at the cost of boundaries. A perfect example of this is your work email address. It might be easy to use it to subscribe to an online service, like Netflix, but this is far from the best idea. Let’s take a look at why it might be a bad idea to breach these boundaries between your personal life and your work life, and why it might have lasting consequences.
Really, it boils down to one important question:
It makes sense when you think about it; what happens when your employment comes to an abrupt end?
Imagine using your work email for a variety of personal reasons. Maybe you used it to subscribe to a subscription service or as a login for your favorite online retailer. While it might become a source of distraction in the workplace, we’re not here to talk about that today—we’re focusing on what happens if you were to lose access to a work email that you’ve used for personal services, only to leave the position at some point in the future.
The reasons don’t matter. Whether you leave on your own volition or are terminated, a responsible employer will take steps to deactivate your email account within their system. If they don’t, it’s a clear violation of cybersecurity policy. If you were to ever lose your password or forget it, you’ll never be able to recover that password again, as the email used to reset it would no longer be active.
There are certain reasons businesses might want to keep their users from using professional email accounts for their own purposes. Here are just a few of them:
- Corporate accounts are readily available online in many cases, making them easy targets for phishing and spam.
- On a related note, it becomes a lot easier for a cybercriminal to find online accounts that are tied to a business email address and use what they find to craft more effective spear phishing messages—ones that are tailored specifically for a particular recipient.
- Many people still reuse passwords across many different websites and services, so if a website is breached that an employee’s work email was used to access, there’s a good chance that a work password could be stolen with it.
It might be convenient, but it’s important that you shape your processes around cybersecurity, and this means ensuring that your team understands best practices associated with email and work/life balance. Doing so can prevent a lot of headaches in the long term.
If you need some help keeping your workforce apprised of the various best practices related to cybersecurity, look no further than SMG Business Solution. Our cybersecurity professionals have your back the entire way. To learn more, reach out to us at 020 7898 3500.