Santa Monica College
Postmaster

 

Relaying e-mail messages...

 

Q. Why didn't I receive an e-mail message that the sender swears he sent me?
A. Check whether a rule in your Inbox Assistant (under the Tools menu) is moving or deleting messages based on a certain criteria. Use Find or Advanced-Find to locate the message in your mailbox in order to trace how the message might have been routed. Send an e-mail to the original sender and have him/her reply to it -- if you receive the reply, then the sender did not originally use your correct e-mail address.

Q. How do I forward my e-mail to another address (while retaining it at SMC so I can check it from on-campus)?
A. The Outlook Rules Wizard (formerly, the Inbox Assistant in older versions of Outlook) can be set up to automatically forward to an Internet address and then delete (although, not re-delete) all incoming e-mail messages. To do so, however, it requires the nearly-impossible arrangement of staying logged into the same workstation all the time. First, you must have a secured and dedicated workstation on the campus network; typically, only full-time faculty are assigned such computers in their offices. Next, you would log into the workstation and launch Outlook (not the Outlook Web Access interface). Under the Tools menu, you will find the Rules Wizard. Before creating the rule, you should create either a Personal Address Book (PAB) entry or a Contact for your foreign address. When you create the new rule, it should apply to all incoming messages and should forward to your designated Contact or PAB entry, and then it should delete the message. You must then lock the workstation using the keystrokes Ctrl-Alt-Del followed by the Enter key; note that locking is a feature of Windows NT Workstation 4.0 or above, and doesn't work for Windows 9x or Macintosh. (Pray there's no intervening power outage.) Finally, you still need to periodically re-delete messages in your Deleted Items folder to keep your mailbox within its quota; otherwise, it may be prohibited from sending messages, including forwarding them as part of a message-processing rule.

Q. Why are these steps so cumbersome?
A. The procedure was intended for full-time faculty members and was developed at a time when the Outlook Web Access (OWA) interface was not as sophisticated or full-featured as it is today. The OWA improvements make the need to auto-forward messages nearly obsolete. Moreover, I strongly urge instructors to use their SMC address when corresponding with students and others officially affiliated with the College -- the @smc.edu domain is self-authenticating and assures your correspondents of both your identity and the origin of the messages you send.

Q. Can't the SMC Postmaster just automatically forward all my messages?
A. As of the new fiscal year which began July 1st, 2002, automatic forwarding of messages through the SMC e-mail system is a service which the campus no longer provides. Primarily, the practice had to be abandoned due to the administrative cost of maintaining and troubleshooting connections outside the SMC network. In addition, serious concerns were raised about what kind of message (literally) is being sent to our students when they receive e-mail from an instructor whose address is unaffiliated with the College (e.g., from AOL or YAHOO). The main concern became apparent when dozens of questions from students asked for confirmation that a quiz they got from a YAHOO address really was legitimately from their SMC instructor. In an age of email-borne viruses and spoofed addresses, it is a sensible approach to avail oneself of the e-mail address provided by one's employer and which is self-authenticating by virtue of its domain name.

Last Updated: September 24th, 2002 


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