Staying in Touch Socially

As more and more computer users connect to the Internet from home computers, email replaces telephone calls and letters that used to keep family and friends in touch. Issues affecting personal messages are listed below.


Any message may be personal but it’s certainly not private if you send it via email. Systems administrators anywhere along the email trail could (though they probably won’t) read, save, or archive your message. The law that protects telephone conversations from wire-tapping does not yet clearly extend to email messages, so you should consider sending sensitive or confidential messages through some other medium.

Work Policies

Many businesses do not allow their employees to use office computers to send personal messages over email. Be sure to check on the policies of your employer before sending messages to friends and family members.

State Employees

Many states require that all state employees’ office communications be available for public scrutiny. If you are a state or federal employee, a systems administrator may be required by law to archive and disclose your email messages with or without your knowledge or permission.

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