E-mail retention is the practice of storing e-mail and instant messaging records in an organization as per the policies of the respective organization. An email retention policy refers to a list of factors made by an organization that defines what e-mail and instant messaging records require to be kept for compliance or other business reasons. The policy should also have a timetable that mentions for how long the retained records can be kept and when can be moved to off-site storage archives or be destroyed.
For instance, if you’ve set a 30-days e-mail retention policy. As per the policy, all e-mails and instant messages that are at least 30 days old, will automatically be deleted from your backup data. An email retention policy can only be applied for Google Apps accounts, and for individual accounts. You have an option to apply an e-mail retention policy on the entire account or just for a specific files/labels.
An e-mail retention is slightly different from an e-mail archiving. Archiving allows business owners to retain e-mail and instant messages for an indefinite time period, whereas e-mail retention defines for how long the records should be retained before it’s automatically deleted. Longer retention period increases the security threat of having an unauthorized user gains access to organization’s confidential data. On the other hand, shorter e-mail retention removes these issues. Besides, implementation of shorter retention is easy and cost-effective.