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Chapter 1. Beware Potential Perils > E-Mail Abuse Impacts Revenues and Also Rep...

E-Mail Abuse Impacts Revenues and Also Reputations

E-mail misuse and abuse carries a hefty price tag. Including legal fees and settlement costs, lost productivity and wasted computer resources, stolen data and sabotaged computer equipment, employers put their organizations’ financial assets and futures at risk whenever employees access the organization’s e-mail system. And it is not just staff who trigger e-disasters. Without comprehensive training such as that provided in these pages, any e-mail user—from the CEO to the summer intern—puts the company at risk of a costly e-mail disaster.

Real-Life E-Disaster

When the CEO of Cerner Corporation sent an angry e-mail berating managers for lackluster performance, he never anticipated the message would be read by anyone other than the 400 managers to whom it was addressed. Unfortunately, one recipient’s decision to post the CEO’s message on Yahoo!® increased readership to include the company’s 3,100 employees, along with financial analysts, investors, and others with an interest in the publicly traded company. The result of the CEO’s electronic tirade: Cerner’s stock valuation dropped 22% in just three days.[18]


[18] Edward Wong, “A Stinging Office Memo Boomerangs,” The New York Times, April 5, 2001.


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