Employee uses email to talk friend outside organizations

55 pts.
Tags:
Email
Office 365
An employee was sending emails to her friend. Somehow Office 365 spam filter is classifiying that email conversation as outgoing spam. SCL is 5. When I set up the outgoing spam policy I configured it to BCC me a copy of the email when an outgoing message is being categorized as spam. I find that she is using vulgar language and that she is even talking about other employees, her boss and the CEO. And this is all to an external person. This in my eyes is unethical. Should I, as the head of It, report it to HR?
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I believe that email is considered company property. Certainly the legal
department could confirm, but I have been in a position where I was
requested to monitor employee emails before….and I would totally
expect that an IT position at the Director level would come with the
authority to investigate email – especially if it is being tagged as
Spam, which could cause issues for legitimate company email.

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  • azohawk

    Every work envrionment is differnt, so it depends on the environment.

    It would depend upon company policy regarding email. Does the policy address such emails. If there is a policy, send the policy to everyone pointing out that violations do get flagged and they are reviewed by IT and are reportable to HR.

    Another thing you might do is have an informal conversation with an HR person w/o names to see what they think.

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  • ToddN2000
    It depends on your companies use policy of electronic equipment. You could check with HR and possibly your legal department. Then again if it's a first offense you may be required to just give a warning at this point. Also if you are blocking their outgoing mail as spam, has she come to you asking why her e-mails are not being received by her outside recipient?
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  • Grecosoft
    Thank you. I came into the organization in December. They did not have any policies, except for the Acceptable use policy where it does state that "Do not disclose information to anyone who does not have a legitimate need for that information". The don't have anything about emails. The first thing I did was draft up policies which are pending approval from the Board members, HR and Lawyers. So I already have that covered. 

    You know, I have a lot of experience in IT, but now that i am Director level, this is the first time I have to worry about this. Do you know of any website that deal with this sort of situations that you recommend?
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  • Grecosoft
    Oh and the outgoing mail is not being blocked, it is being sent to the recipient's junk email and I assume that the recipient has white listed the email.
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  • Grecosoft
    I talked to office 365 to find out why the email is being flagged as spam but they couldn't help me with that.
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  • ToddN2000
    is it possible that you have the recipients e-mail domain name blocked or flagged as a spam site ?
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  • Grecosoft
    No, Its not blocked, but it is also not whitelisted. We haven't made any changes to the filter for the external domain. Also, she (staff) never received them as spam. It is only being flagged as spam when she sends them.

    I am thinking that it is being flagged either because they attached memes from unknown websites and/or because they used words like b*tch, f**K, a*s, and the word list feature on the spam filter caught them.  The message analyzer only tails me the SCL of 5, but doesn't say why or what in the body of the message is making it spam.

    I am now in the situation where I now know what is happening with this employee and don't know how to proceed.
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  • Grecosoft
    tells* not tails :/
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  • ToddN2000
    I would question the fact you set yourself up for a BCC on an outgoing message classified as spam. Does your company regularly send out spam? IT may come down to an issue if you were authorized to BCC yourself a copy of the mail. It sounds like something for you legal department. If you did this on your own with out written consent from the company to track outgoing e-mails, there may be little you can do.
     
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  • AndreaF
    I believe that any email, phone records on a company phone, browsing history is considered company property. Certainly the legal department could confirm, but I have been in a position where I was requested to monitor employee emails before....and I would totally expect that an IT position at the Director level would come with the authority to investigate email - especially if it is being tagged as Spam, which could cause issues for legitimate company email.
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