Use your written policies and employee training program to advise employees that instant messages, e-mail, and other paper and electronic business records belong to the organization. IM user IDs and e-mail passwords also are company property.
Require employees to sign and date policies, acknowledging that instant message, e-mail, and other paper and electronic business records are the organization’s property.
Use IM and e-mail policies and education programs to explain that the theft of proprietary or confidential information may result in termination and could be punishable in criminal or civil court.
Use your written IM policy to establish the fact that employees have no reasonable expectation of privacy when it comes to IM.
Advise employees to guard their own privacy (and the privacy of their family and friends) when using IM and e-mail.