Many of my clients are very conscientious about protecting their inventions and intellectual property. Early in our relationship they present a non-disclosure agreement for me to sign. They avoid sharing writing samples that discuss their pricing and their newest technology. They escort me on their company premises.
But when it comes to confidentiality, it is important to recognize that email may pose a risk too. Long email threads that share many email addresses, lots of people's titles and projects, an occasional client name, insights into internal power struggles, and other private corporate information should not leave the company.
The other day I received a revealing email thread from a client, not as a writing sample but in the course of doing business with the company. I know I would not share the information, but I worry about the risk if other outsiders find such private information in their email inboxes.
Remember: That long email thread may contain information you would not want to have sailing out into the world beyond your doors. Edit it before you launch something you did not intend.
What advice on confidentiality and email do you have to share? I welcome your insights.