European study shows fast, loose approach to e-mail

(InfoWorld) – Nearly half of the IT managers in 1,700 companies across Europe do not receive guidelines on what e-mail should be saved even as awareness of the need for careful record-keeping has increased in recent years, a new study shows.

Likewise, employees frequently have incorrect information about how their e-mail is stored and managed, said the study, done by the U.K. research company Dynamic Markets Limited and commissioned by security vendor Symantec. A majority of employees — 78 percent — thought that they, not the IT department, controlled whether e-mail was saved or deleted.

The study also identified what could be potential gaps in e-mail storage. While most IT departments make a backup copy of e-mail every night, only 4 percent back it up during intervals during the day, putting some data at risk, the study said.

A far lower percentage — 42 percent — reported they automatically backed up data from mobile devices and laptops. Of the respondents, 45 percent said users were responsible to back up that data.

E-mail’s importance has evolved from a mere convenient communication tool to an influential, often legally binding document. Legal cases could call for documentation reaching years back.

The study found the majority of IT managers, 71 percent, do not archive e-mail of employees who leave their companies.

[Via InfoWorld: Top News]