Oops – that email wasn’t meant for you

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We’ve all done it. Just as you click the send button you realise that the person you thought you had addressed your email to isn’t the one who’s name appears in the ‘to’ field. Since many of us now have multiple email accounts on a single device which cleverly gathers together all of our contacts, both business and personal, it’s very easily done.

However, the issue moves from ‘oops’ to ‘expletives’ when the misdirected email contains sensitive attachments. This might be a sales report sent to client, a proposal sent to a competitor or a database of important contacts.

Security of data, even that which many companies would consider ‘soft’ in terms of personal information, is at the heart of the impending GDPR legislation. Companies that have hitherto allowed data to flow uninhibited between employers and suppliers will find themselves on the wrong side of the regulators in such circumstances. Top of the list of misdemeanours is sending data as an unsecured Excel spreadsheet.

Yet this is something done frequently, both between colleagues and clients/suppliers. Since email is potentially the most insecure form of communication, whether or not you are sending your message to the intended recipient, sending data in this manner is, at the very least, foolhardy. Encrypting the file with a password would at least mean that if you did send it to the wrong person they wouldn’t be able to open it.

For marketers, and companies that rely on high quality data to do business, it’s time to smarten up your act. Business data and consumer data are now one and the same in the eyes of the regulator and we sense that no quarter will be given for those without clear data security policies.

If you need some help to get ‘GDPR ready’, get in touch with our Data Team. We’ll be happy to help.

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