• Purpose
  • Scope
  • Policy
  • AU Email Addresses and Accounts
  • Acceptable Use Under institution Policies
  • Security and Privacy of Email
  • Best Practices in Use of Email

AU's email services support the educational and administrative activities of the institution and serve as a means of official communication by and between users and AU. The purpose of this policy is to ensure that this critical service remains available and reliable, and is used for purposes appropriate to the institution's mission.

This policy applies to all members of the AU community who are entitled to email services, as detailed in the Computing Privileges document.

AU provides electronic mail (email) services to faculty, staff and students, and to other affiliated classes of individuals. Use of AU email services must be consistent with AU's educational goals and comply with locallaws and institution policies.

AU Email Addresses and Accounts

Faculty and Staff

Email services are available for faculty and staff to conduct and communicate institution business. Incidental personal use of email is allowed with the understanding that the primary use be job-related, and that occasional use does not adversely impact work responsibilities or the performance of the network.

Email services are provided only while a user is employed by the institution and once a user's electronic services are terminated, as specified in the document Computing Privileges, employees may no longer access the contents of their mailboxes, nor should they export their mailbox to a personal account before departure.

Faculty and staff email users are advised that electronic data (and communications using the institution network for transmission or storage) may be reviewed and/or accessed by authorized institution officials for purposes related to institution business. AU has the authority to access and inspect the contents of any equipment, files or email on its electronic systems. The document Procedures for Emergency Account and Information Access delineates the circumstances and process for handling these exceptions.

Students
Email services are available for PG students to support learning and for communication by and between the institution and themselves. The services are provided only while a student is enrolled in the institution and once a student's electronic services are terminated, as specified in the document Computing Privileges, students may no longer access the contents of their mailboxes.

Student email users are advised that electronic data (and communications using the institution network for transmission or storage) may be reviewed and/or accessed in accordance with Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham's Acceptable Use Policy. Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham has the authority to access and inspect the contents of any equipment, files or email on its electronic systems.

Alumni and Others

Individuals with special relationships with AU, such as alumni or official visitors, who are neither employed nor enrolled at Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, are granted limited email privileges, including an email address, commensurate with the nature of their special relationship. AU is free to discontinue these privileges at any time.

Acceptable Use under institution Policies

Email users have a responsibility to learn about and comply with AU's policies on acceptable uses of electronic services. Violation of Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham policies (including this one) may result in disciplinary action dependent upon the nature of the violation. Examples of prohibited uses of email include:

  • Intentional and unauthorized access to other people's email;
  • Sending "spam", chain letters, or any other type of unauthorized widespread distribution of unsolicited mail;
  • Use of email for commercial activities or personal gain (except as specifically authorized by institution policy and in accord with institution procedures);
  • Use of email for political or lobbying activities;
  • Sending of messages that constitute violations of AU's Standards of Student Conduct or the Employee Responsibilities & Rights handbook.
  • Creation and use of a false or alias email address in order to impersonate another or send fraudulent communications;
  • Use of email to transmit materials in a manner which violates copyright laws.

Abuses of AU's email services should be directed to the Information Security Group at isg@au.edu.

Security and Privacy of Email

AU attempts to provide secure, private and reliable email services by following sound information technology practices. However, AU cannot guarantee the security, privacy or reliability of its email service. All email users, therefore, should exercise extreme caution in using AU email to communicate confidential or sensitive matters.

Best Practices in Use of Email

Confidential Information

When sending AU Restricted Information, the user must encrypt the message in an approved method as described in the Transmission section of the document Information to Comply with the Policy on the Handling of AU Restricted Information.

Malware

AU email users should be careful not to open unexpected attachments from unknown or even known senders, nor follow web links within an email message unless the user is certain that the link is legitimate. Following a link in an email message executes code that can also install malicious programs on the workstation.

Identity Theft

Forms sent via email from an unknown sender should never be filled out by following a link. Theft of one's identity can result.

Password Protection

AU's policy requires the use of strong passwords for the protection of email. A strong password should contain digits or punctuation characters as well as letters. The Computing Passwords Policy contains information on how to choose and maintain compliant passwords.

Departmental Email Boxes

Departments that provide services in response to email requests should create a shared mailbox to help support departmental functional continuity for managing requests sent via email. Further information about shared mailboxes can be found in the document Group Email Options.

Forwarding Email

AU email users may choose to have their email delivered to aAU managed mailbox or forwarded to another AU mail repository. However, a non-AU forwarding address should not be used if there is a reasonable expectation that confidential information will be exchanged. Email is not considered a secure mechanism and should not be used to send information that is not considered public.

Staff email users on an extended absence should create an Out Of Office message, which should include the contact information for another staff member who can respond while the user is away from the office.

Staying Current

Official institution communications such as urgent bulk email, course email etc. should be read on a regular basis since those communications may affect day-to-day activities and responsibilities.

Questions or comments to : icts@am.amrita.edu

Interim Policy Effective Date : Jan 10, 2004
Policy Approved :
Last Reviewed : January, 2014

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