I was working with a company for past 6 months and the owner had set official email id on my personal phone. I have sent an resignation letter to him through my personal phone using official id. To my surprise I get threat email from him for stealing things from office (this he has done to many employees previously so they get scared). As i have resigned i didn't want to keep any office belongings with me so i wanted to deleted office email from my personal mail. But after the email exchange and mental stress he has given me that is in (black n white) in email. I would like to keep the official emails with me for any unforeseen situation if he creates in future.

Please give your suggestion: Is it fine to keep official email on personal mail or i should be deleting them completely? (I can't forward those email to my personal id as the server deny's it) So i can use these emails as a proof if things go wrong.

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    Take a screenshot? Print the email to paper? You should not keep the company email on your phone after you have left.
    – Bowen
    Apr 17, 2015 at 19:26
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    I've been down this road before. The best solution is to use a separate phone for work and for personal. This avoids any leakage between the two.
    – Criggie
    Sep 28, 2016 at 7:16

2 Answers 2


Emails containing proprietary information should NOT be kept - that rules out stuff like snippets of code, attached design documents, or even emails describing great ideas that might make the company lots of money.

Generally there is a part of employment agreements that covers this and may spread quite widely - and it's worth knowing what you signed up for when you agreed to work there.

With that said - threats or other forms of harassment are are usually acceptable to keep as documentation of a hostile work environment. The problem is usually proving the authenticity of these things once you have removed them from the place they were originally sent. If you can digitally sign an email and send it somewhere (email, SFTP, etc) in a way that doesn't violate the security rules and protections of your company - that's a better proof than just having an untraceable copy. If it really comes to legal action, you'd end up having to subpoena the work servers to get the authentic copy.

If you think having an unauthenticated copy is useful to you - then just about any mechanism will do - print it, screen shot it, zip, encrypt and send it, stick it on a USB. The one thing you don't want to do is get caught violating company security rules - you are already in an adversarial relationship, don't add fuel the fire.

Lastly - for personal mental well being, I would strongly suggest that whatever copy you get, you stick on a shelf far away from daily life and then move past it. Hanging on to anger and regret when someone else has been a jerk really only hurts you. Once you have your last day, focus on enjoying your new job.


The moral issue is covered in bethlakshmi's answer but something else to think about. If you use an iPhone, Android or Windows phone, and the mail is on a mail server like exchange or Google mail for business, the employer will have the ability to remote wipe the email from your device, you'll have had to accept a security permission allowing this during setup, so you may find as soon as your account is disabled /deleted everything is gone anyway.

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