UIS News

Green Eggs and SPAM - SSU Email

I arrive unwanted -- SHAM I AM
My box is full I'm in a jam -- I do not like unwanted SPAM

SSU email is a vital communication service for University business from on and off-site (Webmail). In terms of managed resources, faculty and staff email is one of the most significant consumers of IT resources and requires an expansive investment in storage technology and human efforts to ensure a consistent quality of service. UIS deploys the Microsoft's Exchange platform and manages the applications and databases within its base computing environment.

UIS is committed to allocating the appropriate level of resources for all of its enterprise systems, to ensure there is sufficient capacity while investing wisely in the collective needs of a common architecture. Consequently, there is an email capacity limit made available to each user, currently 500MB of storage within MS Outlook. UIS will evaluate capacity and demand on a regular basis and make required upgrades to ensure the continuous operation of this mission-critical service.

UIS is committed to the security of its systems and the daily performance of all network services. A limit of 20MB is placed on incoming and outgoing emails with attachments. For any department who needs to send mass communications off-campus please contact UIS in advance so that we can monitor the action for performance and accuracy to ensure intended outcomes are met.

Emails are viable candidates for malicious code and can become a source for breaches in network security. Known security threats are commonly executed within attachments with certain extensions and files that are compressed (.zip). By design certain extensions are not accepted in SSU emails. If there is an anticipated email that is not being delivered as expected please contact the Help Desk and we will take the necessary steps to ensure the communication is successfully delivered.

A Strategy for Managing Emails

Each user must share the responsibility for managing his/her email storage and engage in best practices to remain an active recipient for necessary communications. In addition to efforts to periodically remove unwanted emails (from inbox, sent box and deleted items), features within MS Outlook allow for managing desired and unwanted emails. One critical feature is the ability to establish a list of Safe Recipients for receiving desired emails. This is especially important to ensure that email communications generated from 3rd Party vendors, such as Emergency Alert Notifications, do not go directly to the user's Junk email folder without notice. To establish a Safe Recipient's List within Outlook please visit this link for directions to establish a Safe Recipient's List (PDF).

Keep in mind that all institutional communications are governed by campus Policy 5.30 and Conditions for Use and should be evaluated for the University's Records Retention requirements prior to permanent removal from SSU's email system. SSU emails are backed up nightly for the purpose of mass recovery as the result of a declared disaster, when services become unavailable on campus.

UIS also deploys a leading enterprise tool that offers SPAM and Virus protection prior to emails reaching the user's Outlook inbox. This technology also is maintained by the vendor to evaluate each email sent to campus and compares it to a global database of known SPAM. In continuous operation mode, the device is highly effective in stopping SPAM before it reaches the users inbox. This accounts for millions of unwanted emails not reaching their intended destination without manual intervention. This service allows the user to ensure that necessary emails flow and unwanted emails are abated. Each employee user with a network account also has an account to directly access this software.

Employees also receive an email notification daily in their inbox with the subject SSU Security Gateway SPAM Quarantine Summary. The user can access his/her private quarantine mailbox to establish preferences and block (Blacklist) unwanted emails from the recipient's Outlook inbox based on the individual email or a specific domain. Desired emails that are quarantined by this service can be quickly delivered to the user's inbox, and a Whitelist can be established to ensure wanted emails are immediately sent to the user.

If you have questions specific to managing your email or need further assistance do not hesitate to contact the UIS Help Desk.

 

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