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Email Retention Policy Tips

Do you still need an email retention policy, or do you worry about getting employees to follow the one you have? Here are some tips from consultant Bill Tolson of Contoural Inc. on how to write and maintain a policy that works:

Understand what your main problems are before you purchase technology.

Ensure that your policy reflects today's business needs. It should address your company's data retention philosophy, responsibilities and procedures.

Review the policy annually to be sure that it covers the latest regulations and laws.

Simplify retention schedules by choosing one date that will cover all records affected by a particular mandate.

Keep the policy simple so employees can follow it easily. It is very difficult to create a uniform archive if employees must individually decide what should be archived.

Besides distributing the retention policy company-wide, don't forget to publish an email-use policy. It should clarify what employees can and can't do with company email and outline consequences for misuse.

Automate email retention processes to ensure uniform archiving and increase IT productivity.

This was first published in March 2006

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