Email Policy

1.0 Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to ensure that Elon’s electronic mail (email) services remain available to and reliable for the University community and are used for purposes appropriate to the University’s mission.

2.0 Scope

This policy applies to all members of the Elon community using the email system.

3.0 Policy

3.1 Use of Elon University email addresses and accounts

Elon’s email is a means of official communication to persons who are members of the Elon community. As such, official University communication mechanisms (including, but not limited to, official bulk email and course email) should be read on a regular basis since they may affect day-to-day activities and responsibilities. Bulk email distribution lists to all students, all faculty and/or all staff are managed by Instructional and Campus Technologies (I&CT) based on lists of current faculty and staff provided by Human Resources and current students as provided by the Registrar’s Office. There is no opt-out provision for these lists.

Email is a privilege, and certain responsibilities are attached to its use. All users are expected to adhere to bounds of decency, law, ethics, common sense, and good taste in email communications. A user of Elon’s Electronic Mail should maintain his or her account by not keeping large files or large amounts of email. To ensure continued availability of disk space, email messages should not be kept on the system for longer than 90 days. If it is necessary to keep a message longer than 90 days, the user should download the message to his/her computer.

To ensure the safety and security of email accounts, all passwords must be changed once a year, but everyone is encouraged to change the password every 120 days. A password should be complex and hard to guess — see Elon University's password policy. The user should back up all important messages and files to prevent loss of information and should immediately report any security concerns to Campus Technology Support at 278-5200.

3.2 Protection of Electronic Communications Services

Elon University systems scan inbound and outbound email for content that may be characterized as spam. Where spam characters are found, the message may be tagged or quarantined. Elon also routinely scans all email for viruses. The scanning for viruses may also lead to a modification of the headers of the email, or further consequences, as explained below.

Because of the potentially harmful nature of the content of many messages or attachments, Instructional & Campus Technologies currently:

• Does not deliver messages containing attachments that have been identified as worms by our current anti-virus system.
• Deletes attachments that are identified as containing viruses by our current anti-virus vendor and replaces them with a file called “deleted.txt”
• Blocks messages from external mailers that do not provide the proper identification per DNS (Some spammers make use of improperly configured SMTP servers in an attempt to mask their true identity).

Elon University reserves the right to block other incoming email that exhibits characteristics of spam, viruses, Trojans, or anything else that could threaten the campus’ network infrastructure or services.

Elon’s email services also limit the size of inbound messages to 15 MB (including attachments).

Elon University owns the email system and reserves the right to examine any emails or files. System administrators will refrain from examining email and files, and treat them as confidential unless directed by the President, Provost, Vice President for Business, Finance, and Technology, or Assistant Vice President for Technology/CIO.

Outbound Email

• All outbound email must be routed through University email relay services.
• Messages up to 15 MB in size (including attachments) may be sent through Elon’s mail services.

3.3 Privacy

Personal Information should not be transmitted electronically through the Elon University email system. Personal information is defined as an individual’s first and last name connected to any of the following:

• Social Security number
• Driver’s License number
• Financial Account number
• Credit or Debit Card number
• Any security code or password which could provide access to an individual’s financial account

Users should exercise extreme caution in using email to communicate confidential or sensitive matters and should not assume that email is private and confidential. It is especially important that users are careful to send messages only to the intended recipient(s). Particular care should be taken when using the “reply” or “reply all” commands during email correspondence.

3.4 Misuse of email

Elon University email services may not be used to send commercial or unsolicited bulk email. They may not be used to send messages (such as large volumes of email messages or extremely large individual email messages) with the intent of disrupting a server or an individual’s account on a server.

To protect the availability of the email services at Elon, users should refrain from sending chain letters, holiday cards or similar items to more than a few people. Unauthorized messages sent to large groups can impact email services in an adverse manner. If a user has questions about whether or not to send a message to a large distribution, that individual should check with a supervisor or contact the Assistant Vice President for Technology.

The following is a non-exhaustive list of examples of email abuse:
• Excessive personal use
• Interference with other people's use of email
• Intentional unauthorized access of other people's email
• Sending 'spams', chain letters, letter bombs or any other type of widespread distribution of unsolicited email
• Forging email
• Giving the impression you are representing the University unless you are authorized to do so
• Use of email for commercial activities
• Sending of offensive or abusive messages
• Conducting unlawful activities
• Spoofing, forging, altering, or removing of electronic mail headers is also prohibited
• Do not use another user’s account

Immediately report any problems with email to Campus Technology Support at or call 278-5200. Violations should be reported to the System Administrator at or the Assistant Vice President for Technology/CIO.

Violation of this or any other Elon University policy may result in disciplinary action, up to and including suspension or termination.


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