We have a lot of instant messaging users at our company, but we don't have an official IM policy. Does IM follow the same rules as e-mail?

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Essentially IM does. Approximately 25 million employees are using personal IM tools. They put the organization at tremendous risk by communicating via public networks without management's knowledge, or written rules and policies to reduce liabilities. IM is considered as a form of e-mail and thus should have similar rules and liabilities.

This was first published in November 2004

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