Your employees accessing their personal email at work for a few minutes in a day sounds harmless enough. But access to personal email in the workplace is in fact a potential hazard to company data, security, and productivity for a number of reasons.
Access to personal email from within the corporate network means that there is a path made available for data, client lists, strategic plans, and other confidential information to leave the office – either maliciously or through carelessness.
Even if your HR policy states that employees’ corporate email traffic will be monitored to prevent the leak of intellectual property and other business information, if access to personal email is still allowed, there will continue to be the risk of data breaches.
Unlike corporate accounts, personal email accounts are not equipped with advanced spam protection. As a result, when your users access their personal email on company-approved devices or on your company network, both your network and your data are exposed to security threats.
If phishing emails, which are responsible for two-thirds of malware attacks, get through due to a lack of proper antivirus and malware filters in the employee’s personal email, then it can put your business in a lot of trouble.
Loss of Productivity
Personal email – the term in itself refers to content unrelated to business. Giving your employees access to personal webmail accounts may cause distractions in the form of music files, jokes, chain letters, and disrupt the productivity of your employees while on company time.
Your employees may also be accessing distracting content by browsing irrelevant websites while at work. Read our blog on DNS filtering to know how you can address the issue.
Block Personal Email at Work
Experts recommend the setting up of a policy that forbids the use of personal email in the office or while connected to the corporate network. It is also important that you educate your employees on why such a policy is being enforced in order to prevent employee dissatisfaction.
Enforcing the policy through filters
Despite setting up a policy against the use of personal email, a company cannot truly enforce it as a security measure unless steps are taken to block access to these mail accounts. However, blocking access to your users’ personal email is not as simple as blocking the URL to the email client’s login page. After all, the same email client or login URL may be used to access both personal and professional email accounts – as is the case with personal Gmail and official G-Suite accounts.
Using a blocking and filtering tool, or utilizing the content filtering functionality available in IAM solutions like Akku, it is possible to block access to personal emails. Akku’s advanced email filter intercepts the HTTP headers of email traffic, reads the domain name, and allows only mails for accounts from whitelisted domains to flow through – thus blocking all personal emails effectively.
To know more about Akku’s content filtering features, visit www.akku.work
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