Only 40 percent of organizations surveyed by AMA, ePolicy Institute, and Clearswift use software to control employees’ e-mail content. More troubling is the fact that merely 19 percent of employers use software to monitor the internal e-mail communications that take place among employees. 
Management’s failure to check internal e-mail is a disaster in the making. Off-the-cuff, casual e-mail conversations among employees are exactly the type of messages that tend to trigger lawsuits, arm prosecutors with potentially damaging evidence, and provide the media with headline-making e-disaster stories.
The facts paint a disturbing picture of workplace electronic communications: Two-thirds of employees use IM for personal conversations during working hours;  90 percent of employees send and receive personal e-mail at work;  66 percent of companies lack a policy for deleting nonessential e-mail messages;  and 43 percent of regulated businesses have no e-mail retention policy in place. 
Silicon.com press release, ‘‘Flirting, Pornography, and Bad Language—How Staff Use IM’’ (September 15, 2003). Blue Coat Systems commissioned the survey of 200 workplace IM users in the UK. www.silicon.com/news/500012/1/6004.html.
‘‘2003 E-Mail Rules, Policies, and Practices Survey,’’ conducted by American Management Association, The ePolicy Institute, and Clearswift. Survey findings available online at www.epolicyinstitute.com.
Jeff Brandes, ‘‘The Role of Secure Archiving in the E-Mail Life Cycle,’’ Infostor (November 2003), www.infostor.com.