Jump to content

Use of my email account by others


Mel B

Recommended Posts

Something has cropped up that I'm not happy about ... when I left work I put an 'out of office' response to say I no longer worked there and who to contact in the future. It is policy that you can access your email account once you've left for a month afterwards for example to ensure you can sort out anything you need (old emails etc), forward on stuff that work might need, and ensure that any email messages for you personally can be 'caught' and your new email address given.

 

I found out that my former colleague (office manager) had asked for my email password to be reset before the month was up (I'd have given her the original password if she'd really needed it but as I was monitoring it at home I didn't see why she needed it). This request had then to be authorised by the area Director who did so and the password was changed. The office manager did let me know in an email (to my personal email) that she had done this but I was not happy that I hadn't been given the courtesy of being asked as I couldn't then access my own email account for the requisite month, but she said she would forward anything on to me that was not to do with work, and that it was only done so they could monitor the account in case work emails were sent to it until people found out I'd left. After the initial month the email account is then frozen but the mail already in it is kept for a further 3 months in case anything in it is needed (by me), it is then deleted.

 

Anyway, when I met up with her just over a week ago, it turns out that she hadn't bothered to check the email so I didn't know if there was anything in it for me! Believing that the account was not frozen but still 'there' I emailed the computing people asking if they could 'activate' the account temporarily so that I could see if there was indeed anything there for me.

 

Now, the bit I'm even more unhappy about ... according to the computing people the email is still live! It is being used for 'business purposes' so they are not willing to let me have access to it but have asked for anything in it for me personally to be sent on, which they have now done but I was annoyed to find that there was some stuff in it that I've missed out on as I didn't know I had to get in touch with the sender ... but that's just a minor thing. I've emailed the computer people back again asking why my account is still being used ... after all it is in MY name and could easily be used to appear as if I'm still working there, or for other purposes. There weren't any files or folders, or even emails, left in it when I last looked at it in January as I made sure I cleared everything out and forwarded all work stuff on so they can't argue that was the reason for it.

 

Before I make a complaint about this, does anyone know what the 'legal' situation is as I'm not happy that someone could 'pretend' to be me ... hopefully no-one will but you can't be too careful can you!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Is it worth bothering about now your retired Mel. Anything that happens or has happened since the day you left can't be contributed to you, can it?

 

On the face of it, it does look like your contract which I presume you had, has been broken because it extended beyond your retirement date by a few weeks. But then again I'm no lawyer and last time I had any dealings with contract law was costing me £220 a hour.

 

Dave

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sounds like a badly run office.

 

Not sure what the ' legal ' position would be but as far as our office was concerned they would have said that I shouldn't have had any personal mail in there anyway - and all business contacts would have been informed in good time that I was leaving, and referred to my successor.

 

But it can't be legal for anyone to be using the address in your name.

 

 

:-|

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Unfortunately, when the email account is held by your(previous) employer, then it belongs to them, and they can access, change or delete it as they see fit.

We had the same issue with a former salesman claiming that because the email address was hisname@ourcompany.co.uk, it belonged to him. This isn't, or wasn't the case, it was allocated to him, (as it was to you), for purposes of his employment, we also gave a grace period whereby he could access it to collect personal mail, but other than doing this as a courtesy, we were not obliged to.

The reason the computer company cannot give you access after you had left your employment, is they will be in serious breach of security and could be open to legal action from your ex employer.

Perhaps not the answer you were looking for, but I speak from experience, we use 2 different web based servers and if they gave access or issued temporary passwords to ex employees, we would have them in court as quick as you like, don't take it personal, they are only concerned about themselves.

Most unused email accounts like yours will stay 'live' for the very reasons you mentioned in your first paragraph ie. telling people you are no longer there etc. we have a couple like that for people who left up to 2 years ago, you'd be suprised the emails that still get sent to them addresses.

 

Like someone else has mentioned, you've retired so why let it be an issue for you, If there are people you know from a professional capacity that you want to stay in touch with, I'm sure you will have their contact details and vice versa.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Your ex-employer should have an IT and email policy. You can ask for a copy although I'd be fairly sure I'd not breached it before I asked. There is an implied responsibility for anyone using an organisation's IT system to comply with the IT policy.

 

The firm owns the email address and can create new email addresses in any name they see fit. Ownership of emails and documents should be specified in the policy - it stops you from using the emails and documents when you leave the firm. However, there should be some way of checking which log on name used the email address although its quite possible they will be using your log in details if you provided the password.

 

Your ex-employee cannot continue to exchange emails with others by pretending to be you as a person [they can pretend to be a name]. You should be entitled to any financial loss you incur as a result although proving loss will be difficult. I agree you should let it go unless something adverse happens.

 

Your ex-employer strikes me as lacking internal governance.

 

The next bit will be no help to you Mel. Having written numerous IT policies over the years, there are some basics that everyone should follow such as never give your password to anyone whatever the circumstances - out of office responses can usually be set to forward emails to others and IT Administration can rest them anyway but will leave a trace of their actions. Never use your work email for personal use. Wipe clean your personal folders before leaving the organisation, ensuring you save work related emails and documents to a shared folder for others to access. Easy said, not so easy to impose in disorganised firms.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Brock

 

I didn't give them my password, I had been told I would have access for a month after I left, but with what they did, by asking for the password to be changed, they denied me that access and I had no way of checking if everything that should be 'cancelled', or changed, had been.

 

Fortunately I had already cleared everything out and passed/forwarded on anything that was still needed, but it does concern me that the 'policy' which I assume is what says I should have a month's access, was breached without any thought for what I might need or even telling me they were doing it.

 

Anyway, I don't care, if that's how they want to be so be it, I just hope they don't need to consult me for anything now (they have rung a few times already) as I might suddenly have a 'memory lapse' now! :-S

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mel -

 

I'm afraid that I suspect that "your" email account wasn't/isn't actually "yours" at all in law. Never was.

It's the Companies.

It's theirs - you were working for them, in their offices, in their time, on their equipment, supposed to be devoting all your time to their best interests.

 

Sounds a bit clinical perhaps, but now that your employment contract with them has ended, you have no business relationship with them at all........and I think they can do what they like with it.... reuse it/close it etc.

 

 

 

Walk away, and relax. Drink wine. It's great.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As mentioned by others a work e mail belongs to the Company even if you have your name as a user on it. However, it is not very likely that the Company would continue to use it if your name is the user, but it may be a generic name such as 'accounts' or 'tech support' and in this case they can assign it to anyone.

 

The other thing is you mention that there were e mails that you wished to reply to, but as you had left the Company I am afraid you had no entitlement to that. Your succesor would read them and reply that you were no longer there etc. If they were personal, then again I am afraid you really should not have had them on a works computer and I would assume you had advisd everyone when you left that you were no longer accesible on that address.

 

If you had 'chatty' emails to colleagues that may, or may not have been completely PC correct, then i regret you cannot really do anything about it. If the Company has not come back to you concerning anything you have written, then I would suggets just forget it. Contact the people you want by other means and set up another account with them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mel B - 2012-03-30 10:33 PMI don't care, if that's how they want to be so be it, I just hope they don't need to consult me for anything now (they have rung a few times already) as I might suddenly have a 'memory lapse' now! :-S

 

 

Don't have a 'lapse' Mel....as you have left/retired charge them consultants rates for any enquiries you may get....I think the going rate is around £25-£30 for a phone call plus an added amount for the value of the information they require.......hehe

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...