How to mitigate the risk of deleted emails in Outlook
Inside the Trash folder
Message removal is an important feature of all email applications. It allows you to get rid of unwanted emails. Unwanted email is something you don’t want in your mailbox any longer for some reason. Unwanted is indeed a loose term. It may be a spam that somehow got through the spam filters, a joke email from your peers, something unimportant from a family member, etc.
When you delete an email, usually it’s not removed from your mailbox, instead it’s actually just moved to the Trash folder. This folder is designed to hold deleted emails. However, the Trash folder keeps the deleted emails for only so long, eg. 30 days or based on the settings of the mail server. After the grace period the deleted emails are removed permanently.
30 days are plenty, right? On one hand the Trash folder may give you a peace of mind knowing that no problem if you accidentally remove an important email, you can restore it to your INBOX.
On the other hand the legal, HR, compliance and IT departments may get a heart attack when they discover you have accidentally deleted, and lost forever an email that might be crucial for a future litigation or e-discovery request. There may be consequences for the company, a risk of fines, etc.
So while the end user might be happy with the Trash folder, it’s not a good enough solution for the company. We need something better.
Email archiving to the rescue
An email archive is the remedy for this problem. Your IT department configures the mail server that it forwards a copy of each incoming, outgoing and even internal emails to the archive. No end user activity is required, it’s completely automatic.
While the email archive allows end users to search, view, download, and recover their own emails, it prevents them deleting any email from the email archive.
It doesn’t matter even if a user manages to trash all of his emails. It doesn’t matter if the user’s computer is damaged or lost along with all the emails (you hopefully backup important company files, though). It doesn’t matter if the PST files in Outlook becomes corrupted once in a while. The email archive still keeps all messages.
When it becomes evident for the user that an important email is missing, he can go to the archive, and restore it to his mailbox.
Peace of mind for CEO, HR, legal and IT
The email archive is the ultimate solution that gives the peace of mind for the the CEO, HR, legal and IT, because they can be assured that the end user cannot remove any emails from it.
Instead it allows the legal or HR team to define what an unwanted email is, eg. emails after 7 years, and the email archive gets rid of messages based on the established corporate policies. Or it never deletes any email if that’s what you really need. The email archive is a solution that keeps all emails that ever sent or received, regardless what a user does with his own mailbox.