Emails created as part of a university administrative function are considered records under Dalhousie’s Records Management Policy. Work-related email may also be subject to FOIPOP requests.
While email is ubiquitous and convenient, there are risks to consider when using electronic forms of communication. Once an email is sent, retrieving it is next to impossible. Take steps to ensure that:
· there is no personal information in the subject line or title of the email
· there is no unnecessary information included in the body of the email
· your intent comes across clearly and professionally
· the email is sent to the right people.
Best Email Practices to Consider
Is email the appropriate communication tool to use in the situation?
What is the email’s purpose? If it is work-related, keep it work-related.
What is the tone of the email?
o Keep it professional—use appropriate language and check your spelling and grammar
o Stick to the issue: one topic = one email
Where is the email going?
o Make sure that you type in the correct email address
o When replying to an email, double-check the sender’s name
o Don’t ‘reply all’ without thinking about why you should do so
Does the email contain sensitive or confidential personal information? This may include personal health information, social insurance numbers (SIN), government identity card numbers (e.g., passport, driver’s license), bank account information (e.g., direct deposit details), biometric data or dates of birth.
o Is it necessary to share this information?
o Is there a better, more secure method to transfer this information?
o Make sure sensitive or confidential personal information is not in the subject line or title of the email.
o Can you minimize the details and direct the reader to where the information is located?
For more information regarding sensitive or confidential personal information in email, please contact the Privacy Office.
For more information about:
This video will help you to consider how you construct emails.