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Hostos E-mail Policy

Introduction:
Hostos Community College provides its faculty and staff with various electronic communication tools, including an e-mail messaging system. The following guidelines, which govern faculty and staff use of the college e-mail system, apply to e-mail use at the college campus, as well as from remote locations, including, but not limited to, employee homes. The college's e-mail rules and policies apply equally to full-time employees, part-time employees, interns, work studies, and consultants. Anyone who violates any of these e-mail rules and policies will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination.

No Reasonable Expectation of Privacy:
All e-mail communications created and transmitted using the college e-mail system, even personal emails, are the sole property of the college. Keep in mind that any message you send or receive becomes a permanent record even if you delete the message from your account. Accordingly, you should have no reasonable expectation of privacy when it comes to business and personal use of the college e-mail system.

Use of E-mail for College Business:
Your official Hostos e-mail account shall be considered an official means for communicating college related business, and may in some cases be the sole means of communication. In order to stay current with college related communications, all faculty and staff personnel are expected to read, and shall be presumed to have received and read, all official college e-mail messages sent to their official Hostos e-mail accounts. All faculty and staff personnel are advised against using third party email services (e.g., Yahoo, Hotmail, Gmail or AOL) when conducting college related communications. Communications with students should always be sent to their Hostos student email address (ending in @stu.hostos.cuny.edu) from a Hostos faculty/staff email address. This helps guarantee delivery and ensure the privacy of the communication.

Safety Considerations:
Users are to take precautions to prevent the unauthorized use of e-mail account passwords. Passwords are not to be shared with others and their confidentiality is to be strictly maintained. When choosing passwords, users should select passwords that are difficult to guess and should change them on a regular basis. Users will be held accountable for all actions performed with their accounts, including those performed by other individuals as a result of user negligence in protecting passwords.

You may, on occasion, receive malicious email claiming that “your account has expired”, “you have exceeded your mailbox quote” and so forth which either ask you to reply with your login account and password, or to click on a link which will prompt you for similar information. You should NEVER respond to such emails/click on links as legitimate as they may seem. You should also always remain vigilant of such attempts to collect your Hostos or personal credentials. Only websites which have “hostos.cuny.edu” in the address bar of your internet browser are legitimate and are safe to enter your Hostos username and password.

Other e-mails may contain viruses as attachments therefore e-mails from unknown senders or with unexpected attachments should not be opened/double-clicked.

Please note that at Hostos, e-mail administrators and other computer support staff will never ask you for your password.

E-mail Monitoring Activities:
The college does not monitor the content of electronic mail as a routine procedure, but it reserves the right to monitor, inspect, copy, review, and store any and all employee e-mail use at any time and without the employee's consent. It will do so only when it believes these actions are appropriate to: prevent or correct improper use of the college e-mail system; ensure compliance with college policies, procedures, or regulations; or satisfy a legal obligation.

SPAM Policy:
The IT department has implemented an anti-spam appliance and has configured it to a reasonable degree of filtering to prevent unsolicited emails from reaching our campus community. However, the appliance may a) occasionally permit such emails from reaching your account and/or b) block legitimate emails based on certain keywords, etc. In the event that you receive an unsolicited email message, please do not open it/click any links/open any attachments. Promptly report such messages to the IT department and wait for further instruction. If you were expecting an email from a trusted source and they informed you that it was sent, you may contact the IT department to see if it may have been blocked by our anti-spam appliance at which point the e-mail will be released for delivery to you – except if it was blocked because it contained a virus.

Departmental E-mail Accounts:
In some situations, a single point of contact is required where multiple individuals could manage service requests. These accounts are permitted if the department head determines that a group account is required to conduct the business of the department and he/she will be responsible for all of the account activities, including use of it by authorized and unauthorized employees.

Mass E-mail & Unsolicited E-mail:
While faculty and staff can maintain their own personal mailing lists, those lists should not be used to send unsolicited e-mail that violates any of the college's policies. Commercial use of mailing lists, except for authorized college related business is prohibited. Any message to the college community at large must be first approved by an appropriate college officer (Dean, Vice President, and President).

E-mail Backups:
In the event of an e-mail system disaster, email will be restored to the state of user email accounts on that server at the time of the last backup. As e-mail messages may be received and subsequently deleted or lost since the last backup, the college cannot guarantee that all e-mail messages can be restored. Every effort is made to ensure that the e-mail system is backed up on a nightly basis.

Redirection/Forwarding of E-mail:
Redirection/forwarding of official college e-mail communications to third party email services is not permitted. This is to ensure the integrity and privacy of messages and to ensure that replies to group emails are not sent from a 3rd party email account.

E-mail Quota Size:
E-mail storage is costly and finite. As such, Hostos e-mail accounts have a standard storage size limit of 2,048 megabytes (MB).

E-mail Message Size Restrictions:
The largest e-mail message size that users can send or receive from anyone is 15 megabytes (MB). This includes the message text, headers, and any attachment combined. Please note that you may not be able to send large attachments to contacts that use other email services with smaller attachment limits.

E-mail retention policy:
All e-mail communications are retained on the college e-mail server for a period of 90 days. Other e-mail communications older than 90 days are archived off to other storage locations for a period of seven years from the origination date.

E-mail Disclaimer:
All outgoing e-mail messages will be appended with the following disclaimer: 'This email may contain confidential material. If you were not an intended recipient, please notify the sender and delete all copies. Eco-Tip: Think green before you print'.

Employee Terminations:
Once the effective termination date has been determined by the Human Resources department, the e-mail account of a terminated employee is disabled and the mailbox' contents are archived.

Best practices when e-mailing:
When creating your e-mail messages please follow these guidelines:

  1. Always include a Subject Line. A subject line describes the reason for the email, without it, the recipient is lost.
  2. Start your e-mails with a salutation.
  3. Do not include social security numbers, credit card numbers, or anything else of a sensitive nature in the body of or as attachments in e-mail communications (remember, an e-mail is like a postcard).
  4. Do not put anything in an e-mail that you do not want forwarded.
  5. Use the forwarding and carbon copy features judiciously.
  6. Do not forward internal e-mails outside of the college unless there is an appropriate business reason to do so.
  7. Only hit “Reply All” if you really need to reply to all.
  8. End your e-mails with a signature and contact information.

Offensive Content and Harassing or Discriminatory Activities Are Banned:
Faculty and staff are prohibited from using the college e-mail system to engage in activities or transmit content that is harassing, discriminatory, menacing, threatening, obscene, defamatory, or in any way objectionable or offensive. Anyone receiving messages with this type of content should report the matter to their supervisor immediately.

Faculty and Staff Are Prohibited from Using the college e-mail system to:

  1. Send, receive, solicit, print, copy, or reply to text, images, or jokes that disparage others based on their race, religion, color, gender, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, veteran status, disability, ancestry, or age.
  2. Send, receive, solicit, print, copy, or reply to messages that are disparaging or defamatory.
  3. Send, receive, solicit, print, copy, or reply to sexually oriented messages or images.
  4. Send, receive, solicit, print, copy, or reply to messages or images that contain foul, disrespectful, or adult-oriented language.
  5. Send, receive, solicit, print, copy, or reply to messages or images that are intended to alarm others, negatively impact employee productivity, or harm employee morale.

Reporting E-mail Abuse:
E-mail abuse may be reported to: hccithelp@hostos.cuny.edu. Reports of abuse will be investigated and handled as appropriate. In all cases, do not delete any evidence or e-mail messages as they can be used as evidence.

In conclusion:
Since developments in email and the Internet are changing rapidly, the college reserves the right to change this policy as necessary without prior notice.

Current policies pertaining to technology resources can be located on the IT website at
www.hostos.cuny.edu/infotech

For any comments or questions regarding this policy please contact the Hostos Information Technology Department at: hccithelp@hostos.cuny.edu.

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