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The IT department has physical access to your email account. That means they can do any number of things with it.

Hello, Leo. Under abuse of power, my boss threatened me with termination and disabled my email account. My fear is that he will get the IT team to plant fictitious emails; basically, send postdated emails from my address to competitors to make a case of data theft against me.

Now, I need to understand what all I must do to safeguard myself. Can "they" - IT - send emails from my address to others? And then can it be proved in court, if I drag them to court? Because such a malicious and vengeful act may harm my career forever.

In this excerpt from Answercast #15, I look at the access that the IT department will have to your email account and what they can do.

Get an attorney

I honestly can't address what you need to do. This definitely sounds like a case where you need legal advice and I'm not a lawyer. I cannot give out legal advice.

I would strongly encourage you to contact an attorney who is versed in these kinds of actions to get qualified advice.

What the IT department can do

What I can say is that: yes, your IT department can do any number of things, particularly if they have malicious intent.

  • It is absolutely possible for them to send email that looks like it came from you.

  • It is also possible to forge or fake the dates on emails so that it looks like (at least at the top layer), the email was sent at a time or a date other than when it actually was sent.

Under the hood, using various forensic techniques, the forgery can often (not always, but often) be disproved.

But, like I said, that's when it starts to get tricky. That's when it starts to touch into the realm of what you can and cannot gain access to legally. Which is why I have to continue to refer you back to an attorney to take it further.

Article C5301 - May 7, 2012 « »

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Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

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