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Email retention policy

(also ERP)

Email retention policy definition

An email retention policy is a formal framework of guidelines and regulations that governs email storage, archival, and deletion. It outlines the duration for preserving emails and offers instructions on email management.

An email retention policy ensures compliance with legal, regulatory, and industry obligations and facilitates efficient practices for data management and resource usage. It helps organizations promote accountability, transparency, and data integrity.

The policy sets forth specific timeframes for retaining diverse categories of emails, depending on their content and importance. For example, it may stipulate that customer service inquiries should be retained for a specific period before being deleted, whereas financial records may need to be preserved longer.

Moreover, the policy covers crucial aspects such as email backups, encryption methods, access controls, and appropriate protocols for handling sensitive or confidential information.

See also: data availability, data audit

Key considerations when creating an email retention policy

  • Taking into account the legal and regulatory obligations that apply to the organization.
  • Considering the specific needs of the business.
  • Effectively communicating the policy to all employees.
  • Ensuring consistent enforcement.
  • Regularly reviewing the policy and making any necessary updates or adjustments.