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Why It’s a Bad Idea to Use Your Work Email for Personal Accounts

While we’re all for efficiency, there are some boundaries that should not be crossed for everyone’s benefit. Take, for instance, the email you use to subscribe to online services. While it may be tempting (or, for some people, automatic) to use your work email address when you sign up for, say, your Netflix account or an online merchant, we wanted to discuss why this is a bad habit to get into that could have lasting consequences.

The reason you shouldn’t use your work email for personal purposes is a simple one:

What Happens If You No Longer Work for the Company?

Seriously, we want to know: what’s your plan if your employment comes to a sudden end?

Let’s say that you were using your work email for an assortment of personal reasons—maybe you used it to subscribe to a few subscription services, or you used it to login to a favorite online retailer or two… maybe one named after a really big river in South America.

Potential for distraction aside (which is itself a whole other can of worms), tying your personal life too much to your work life can have some long-term issues. Let’s say you did choose to use a work email to sign up for a personal service, only to leave that job some time later.

Regardless of the reason you leave—whether you or your position was terminated, you found another job, whatever—one of the first things that any responsible company will do is to deactivate your accounts from their system. Neglecting to do so would be a cybersecurity failure on their part. Good luck trying to recover a forgotten password when the authentication is sent to an email you no longer have access to.

Businesses Should Actively Discourage Private Use of Professional Email Addresses

There are plenty of reasons that a business should want to keep their users from using their professional email accounts for their own personal purposes. We’ll quickly run through the list:

  • Corporate accounts are readily available online in many cases, making them easy targets for phishing and spam.
  • On a related note, it becomes a lot easier for a cybercriminal to find online accounts that are tied to a business email address and use what they find to craft more effective spear phishing messages—ones that are tailored specifically for a particular recipient.
  • Many people still reuse passwords across many different websites and services, so if a website is breached that an employee’s work email was used to access, there’s a good chance that a work password could be stolen with it.

Cybersecurity Needs to Take Precedent Over Convenience

While convenience is an appealing motivator, it is important that your processes are shaped to prioritize your business’ security. Educating your team about password best practices and the actual importance of this kind of work/life balance will be key to shoring up this particular security issue.

We’re Here to Help Strike the Balance

Turn to us for help with keeping your team members from inappropriately merging their work lives and personal lives, as well as our assistance in optimizing the rest of your processes. Give us a call at (505)242-5683 to learn more.