Be careful what you write…

This weekend, Brian Cuban sent me a full e-mail exchange between his brother, Mark Cuban, and an attorney with the SEC. The e-mail exchange is now public and has been all over national news for the last few days.

I won’t be commenting on the situation itself or the case on here. However, the link illustrates a great example of why attorneys (and anyone else in business, for that matter) should be VERY careful what they put in writing.

Personal messages really shouldn’t be part of a person’s business e-mail account. Here, a government attorney used a government account, during business hours, to share personal issues he had. Now, these same e-mails could affect the very core of the SEC case.

The point is… Don’t use your business e-mail account to share negative personal opinions. It’s not a smart idea. In today’s Internet savvy age, all of us should remember that whatever we write could very well end up plastered all over the Internet.

Society is getting increasingly serious about this. For example, anyone applying to be part of Obama’s team has to fill out a grueling application that includes identifying indiscretions that range all the way to text messages or personal diary entries that could be embarrassing if made public. One question on the application reads: “Please list all aliases or handles you have used to communicate on the Internet.”

It’s understandable that such an in-depth background check would be necessary. And it’s another reason why we should all use wisdom before putting anything in writing. Even for those who think their Internet aliases are private… That’s not always the case. Have you shared your alias with anyone, ever? Then there’s a chance that what you wrote under the alias could be public someday.

The moral of the story? Think twice before hitting “send.” Better yet, be the type of person who wouldn’t write embarrassing or damaging things in the first place. Then you won’t have to worry at all.

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11 responses to “Be careful what you write…

  1. Also be careful about so called “recorded” conversations on business lines with companies “This call may be monitored for quality assurance” that means they are recording you and anything you say can and will be used against you some day.

  2. Its sad that people have to digg this deep. If anyone found anything, I really wouldnt care, but on the other hand it could cost you job security.

    Heres the easiest: Dont ever say anything you will regret.

  3. Teeni & Kaylee – Thanks! It’s scary how easily people can forget simple e-mail etiquette!

    Rachel – good point about the recorded conversations on business lines.

    Kraze – Good advice. Definitely the best rule to live by.

    Spy – That’s hilarious!! I think everyone should have disclaimers on their e-mails, lawyers or not. πŸ˜›

  4. Exactly the reason I refrain from divulging overly personal information when I post to weblogs. You just never know who’s going to read it and when it will come back to haunt you.

  5. Ther permanence of email is easy to forget – it is such a quick and immediate form of communication. Now I am working with my father, I am so careful about using my work account for personal emails simply because I would hate for anything to ever reflect badly on our business – although I rarely feel the need to say anything more than ‘what’s happening this weekend’ or ‘what do you want for dinner’.. such is my life!!!

  6. “Be careful what you put in writing” has been good advice since way before the Internet came along. It’s just better advice now. I wish there were some way to drill that into the heads of people who put their entire lives out there for the world to see (eg., Facebook).

  7. Oh boy. As a consultant for an IT firm that has clients in every sphere of business and government all I can say is DUH! To begin with business/work is not about your feelings, it’s about achieving goals in exchange for an outcome. Feelings have no place in this game. And when someone makes it personal play it politically, never with your feelings.

    And as a consultant for an IT firm that has clients in every sphere of business and government all I can say is SECURITY AND PRIVACY are nothing but illusions. I get payed for my discretion and I also get taken away by the RCMP/FBI if I breach said discretion but the point is that people like me can see everything dirty little thing you do. I can read your e-mail, the content of your computer, all your activity on the network and the internet. I can also impersonate you on the network and make your life miserable (again RCMP/FBI) but just a reminder what some people have as power over you in the electronic age.

    You really have to be careful what you commit to the electronic medium. because NOTHING can be fully deleted now. How many fucknuts have kept personal home-made porn on their laptops which were it not for a this ethical consultant could have easily been uploaded to amateur porn sites thus ruining their wives/girlfriends reputations/lives and bringing humiliation upon them and so on.

    At work, beware. It’s not that someone MAY BE monitoring, because somebody IS monitoring your every move – Even if you are the big boss.

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