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.