Guidelines for Email Users
- The email policy applies to all functions supported by the email system. At present these include the calendar, tasks and contacts functions within Microsoft Exchange.
- It is not possible to give an assurance of absolute confidentiality to email users. Users should be aware:
Users should take cognisance of the advisory note on Defamatory Statements [Word] issued by the Secretary's Office.Email is backed up centrally for system reliability rather than archival purposes. As a result, it is extremely difficult to extract individual emails or accounts. Therefore requests for copies of messages from the backups are normally refused.It is our interpretation that the backups are not subject to the Freedom of Information Act. However, they can be subject to discovery orders from the courts.While the backup cycle is only three weeks, the messages being backed up may be much older depending on how long a message is kept by the sender and by the recipient.Users will find it easier in the long-term to manage their email if they regularly delete unwanted emails from their Inbox and their Sent Items folder and have their Deleted Items folder emptied automatically on exiting the system.Users should be considerate in the use of email lists such as AllExchangeUsers. This list should be used only for messages which are likely to be of interest to a significant proportion of the total staff and it should never be used for commercial or personal messages which are not related to UCC business.Some users avail of the facility in Microsoft Exchange where they can allow others access to their email, calendars etc. It is the responsibility of these users to ensure that the access has been implemented in a manner which reflects their wishes and they should review it if there are changes in the relevant staff.Users should never reply to unsolicited email (Spam). By replying, users are only confirming that the address is a valid address and they will therefore receive more Spam. This applies even where the message asks the recipient to indicate if they do not wish to receive further communications.If you use Out of Office Autoreply you should be aware that this may confirm your email address to spammers
- that email can be monitored or read under the circumstances outlined in the email policy;
- that most breaches of confidentiality arise from incorrect addressing. Apart from keying in an incorrect address, this can happen through clicking the incorrect addressee in a directory. Also, where a user is on a discussion list and they are replying to an email from someone on the list, they sometimes inadvertently reply to the list rather than the individual. Therefore users should always double check the recipient address before sending a message;
- that the level of confidentiality is dependent on the level of security exercised by the networks/systems which the email may pass and on the level of security exercised by the recipient ? e.g. how secure is the recipient?s PC? Are they careless with passwords? Are they likely to forward the email message to someone else?