4000-4-8Use of College Email Systems and Resources

Issue Date:
May 26, 2016
Supersedes Date:
April 22, 2010

Upon request, the college will provide a copy of this policy in an alternate format.

Email is an important system for business communications at Lambton College. Use of Lambton College’s electronic mail systems and services is, however, a privilege, not a right, and that use must be in a manner that is respectful and consistent with the goals and effective operation of Lambton College.

Individuals at Lambton College are encouraged to use email in order to further the goals and enhance the operations of Lambton College. Effective uses of email that are encouraged include communicating with fellow employees, business partners of Lambton College, students and clients within the context of an individual’s assigned responsibilities; acquiring or sharing information necessary or related to the performance of one’s assigned responsibilities; and participating in educational or professional development activities.

This policy applies to all email systems and services owned by Lambton College, all email account users and holders at Lambton College, and all College email records

Policy

  1. All employees of Lambton College will receive an email account. Email accounts will be granted to non-employees who have a relationship with the College on a case-by-case basis by the Information Technology Department. 
  2. It is the responsibility of the account holder to protect the confidentiality of the account and password information.
  3. Email access will be terminated when an employee’s or non-employeeʹs association with Lambton College ends, unless other arrangements are made consistent with standing employee commitments and approved by the Manager or Director of Information Technology.  Lambton College is under no obligation to store or forward the contents of an individual’s email inbox after email access has been terminated.
  4. Email accounts that have not been used for a period of six months will be disabled. A holder of a disabled account must contact IT in order to re-enable the account. An account that has been inactive for a period longer than twelve months will be deleted.

General Expectations of Users

  1. The College delivers official communications via email. Employees of Lambton College are expected to check their email in a consistent and timely manner so that they are aware of announcements and updates and are able to fulfill business and role-oriented tasks.
  2. Email users at Lambton College will comply with all applicable federal and provincial laws, all Lambton College policies and all Lambton College contracts.
  3. Email accounts are to be used only by the registered user.
  4. Email users are responsible for mailbox management, including organization, retention, and deletion of items.
  5. Email sent from the College email accounts reflects on the College. Normal standards of professional and personal courtesy and conduct should be observed.
  6. If a user subscribes to a mailing list, he or she must be aware of how to unsubscribe from the list, and is responsible for doing so in the event that the current email address changes.

Inappropriate Use

  1. Email use by an individual should not interfere with others’ use of the Lambton College email systems and services.
  2. The following activities are deemed inappropriate uses of Lambton College email systems and services, and are strictly prohibited:
    • 12.1 Using College email for
      • 12.1.1 illegal or unlawful purposes, including, but not limited to, copyright infringement, obscenity, libel, slander, fraud or defamation,
      • 12.1.2 plagiarism,
      • 12.1.3 harassment, bullying, or intimidation,
      • 12.1.4 forgery,
      • 12.1.5 impersonation,
      • 12.1.6 illegal gambling,
      • 12.1.7 gathering, disseminating, or viewing sexually explicit materials,
      • 12.1.8 soliciting for personal or other purposes not related to the College
      • 12.1.9 computer tampering (e.g. spreading of computer viruses).
      • 12.1.10 disseminating unsolicited mass mailings
      • 12.1.11 promoting or transacting commercial activity other than College related business,
      • 12.1.12 conducting political campaigns or promoting political causes,
      • 12.1.13 promoting or forwarding chain letters.
    • 12.2 Using email in any manner that violates Lambton College policies, rules, or administrative orders, including, but not limited to:
    • 12.3 Viewing, copying, altering, or deleting email accounts of another account holder.
    • 12.4 Disclosing personal confidential information, including but not limited to, passwords, Social Insurance Numbers, or credit card numbers, in an email message.
    • 12.5 Sending of unreasonably large email attachments. The total size of an individual email message sent (including attachment) must be 25 MB (Megabytes) or less.
    • 12.6 Sharing email account passwords with another person, or attempting to obtain another person’s email account password.
    • 12.7 Using Lambton College email resources for personal use. Personal use for communication with family and friends, independent learning, and public service is permitted as long as it does not interfere with employee productivity, pre‐empt any business activity, or consume more than a trivial amount of resources.

Monitoring and Confidentiality

  1. Lambton College maintains the right to monitor any and all email traffic passing through its email systems. This monitoring may include, but is not limited to, review by the legal team during the discovery phase of litigation, observation by management or a delegate in cases of suspected abuse of email privileges and, where necessary, by IT staff when attempting to resolve a technical issue for an end-user or the email system as a whole.
  2. Archival and backup copies of email messages may exist, despite end-user deletion. The purpose of these backup and archiving procedures is to ensure system reliability, prevent business data loss, meet regulatory and litigation needs, and provide business continuity. Both backups and archives are governed by the College document retention policy, 1000‐3 Record Retention.
  3. If Lambton College discovers or has good reason to suspect activities that do not comply with applicable laws or this policy, email records may be retrieved and used to document the activity in accordance with due process. All reasonable efforts will be made to notify the user if his or her email records are to be reviewed.

Reporting Misuse

  1. Any misuse of the College email system or resources should be promptly reported to the Human Resources Department.
  2. If an offensive email is received, the receiver should not forward, delete, or reply to the message, and should report it to the Human Resources Department in a timely manner.

Disclaimer

  1. Lambton College assumes no liability for direct or indirect damages arising from the use of Lambton College email system and services.
  2. Users are solely responsible for the content they disseminate. Lambton College is not responsible for any third-party claim, demand, or damage arising out of the use of the Lambton College email systems or services.

Failure to Comply

  1. Violations of this policy will be treated like other wrongdoings at Lambton College.  Allegations of misconduct will be adjudicated according to established procedures.  Sanctions for inappropriate use of Lambton College email systems and services may include, but are not limited to, temporary or permanent loss of email access, and disciplinary action.

Appendix

Email Etiquette

Be concise and to the point.

Reading an email is more difficult than reading printed communications and a long email can be very discouraging to read.  Please be considerate of other people’s time. 

Beware of legal implications.

Remember that your email is a legal document; choose your wording carefully and remember that it may be forwarded on to recipients you did not intend, or may have to be produced as evidence in a legal proceeding.

Use extreme caution when communicating confidential or sensitive information via email.

Keep in mind that all email messages sent outside of Lambton College become the property of the receiver. A good rule is to not communicate anything that you wouldn’t feel comfortable being made public

Do not overuse “Reply to All”.

Only use Reply to All if you really need your message to be seen by each person who received the original message. Be selective in choosing who receives your reply; otherwise you are likely sending unsolicited email to large distribution lists.

Use To: CC: and BCC: effectively.

  • To: include those people that need to take action with the content of your mail.
  • CC: include those people that should be informed.
  • BCC: include people here to keep the message free of long address lists and the protection of individual privacy.

Do not request delivery and read receipts.

This may annoy your recipient before he or she has even read your message. Besides, it usually does not work anyway since the recipient could have blocked that function, or his/her software might not support it. If you need to know whether an email was received ask the recipient to let you know if it was received.

Do not reply to spam.

By replying to spam or by unsubscribing, you are confirming that your email address is ʹliveʹ. Confirming this will only generate additional spam. Just delete known spam.

Do not attach unnecessary files.

By sending large attachments your message may not be delivered due to the limitations at the recipients end (file size or mailbox/quota size). You also consume valuable server space.

Do not overuse the high priority option.

We all know the story of the boy who cried wolf. If you overuse the high priority, it will lose its function when you really need it.

Use the auto-reply (out-of-office) feature.

When going on vacation, set your auto-reply feature explaining that you’re away, the duration and who can be contacted for assistance in your absence.

Use a meaningful subject.

Try to use a subject that is meaningful to the recipient as well as yourself. This helps ensure the message gets appropriate attention and can be easily filed and retrieved for later reference.

Email signatures and backgrounds

Include a brief signature in your email messages to help the recipient understand who it is from, including your contact phone #, title, location, etc. especially if you are dealing with someone you do not know very well.

Avoid unnecessary use of graphics in your email signatures and backgrounds as this can be a distraction to the reader and consumes space in email systems.


For questions or concerns regarding policies, please contact:

Jim Elliott
Director, Quality Assurance & Institutional Research
519-542-7751 x 3489
jim.elliott@lambtoncollege.ca

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