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DespatchBox, today warned companies that the trend of attaching legal disclaimers to emails may offer little, if not any, protection from misdirected, intercepted or altered communications. With limited legal power, disclaimers are often little more than legal ‘puffery’, serving only as a comfort to those using email for sensitive communications and lulling them into a false sense of security.

“Disclaimers may offer some support in resolving a dispute, but their effectiveness in court is doubtful,” explains Ian Miles, CEO at DespatchBox. “The use of disclaimers has become nothing more than a corporate fashion statement that endangers the confidentiality of sensitive information. The only way to fully protect confidential emails is to encrypt them.”

The issue of confidentiality remains the key concern for corporate email users. The application of a confidentiality clause within an email communication is legally disputable when positioned in the small print at the foot of a message and almost certainly does nothing to prevent malicious interception or circulation.

DespatchBox offered the following advice to organisations using email for the circulation of confidential material:

1. Decide what information is confidential and important and send only by encrypted email.

2. Add accountability to your email system to provide a way to record all of your business transactions.

3. Create secure communities of users with partners, suppliers and customers. This stops erroneous sending, provides a professional and safe way to use email and makes important business communications stand out from the rest.

4. Ensure that all employees are made aware of your email policy.

5. Email is already being used for litigation purposes but in many cases the retrieval of information is costly and timely. Without an effective retention policy in place or a way to separate confidential business emails from the mainstream of communications, a company is obliged to search through all of the emails on their system.

“The risks are very real, particularly when using email to discuss matters such as contracts, deals, human resources or legal issues,” adds Miles. “If measures to enhance confidentiality of emails are available but not used, confidentiality may be lost.”


Notes to editors:

Additional resources

The following web links provide further information regarding the use of disclaimers and their legal acceptance.

DespatchBox has also published a White Paper looking at email and corporate liability. To view the document (The Legality of Email and Corporate Liability) please visit

About DespatchBox

DespatchBox is a software company that specialises in providing a secure way for companies to share, send and store information over the internet. Applications provide guarantees on delivery, user identity/authentication, legal weight, a full audit trail and proof the information is intact.
DespatchBox Enterprise Solutions are designed to be 'out of the box’; easy-to-use applications that provide encrypted and secure messaging, collaboration and storage. Applications are integrated into the Microsoft and Lotus environments enabling organisations to have a secure line of communications to all employees, clients and partners worldwide.

For further information, please contact:

Andrew Durkin
Tel: + 44 (0) 1753 889100
Fax: + 44 (0) 1753 889101
M: + 44 (0) 7887 998407

This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of MUSTARD PR in the following categories: Consumer Technology, Personal Finance, Business & Finance, Computing & Telecoms, for more information visit