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Maine State Government

Dept. of Administrative & Financial Services

Office of Information Technology

 

BEST PRACTICE USING OUT-OF-OFFICE REPLIES TO THE INTERNET TO MINIMIZE DELIVERY OF COMMERCIALLY UNWANTED ELECTRONIC MESSAGES THROUGHOUT MAINE STATE GOVERNMENT

I. Statement

Out-of-Office replies to the Internet will be turned off as the default practice to avoid disclosing valid addresses to generators of SPAM.

II. Purpose

The purpose of this Best Practice is to document the use of the Out-of-Office Replies to the Internet feature which is potentially used by all State employees who use OIT’s email messaging system, to minimize delivery of commercially unwanted electronic messages.

III. Applicability

This Best Practice applies to the Office of Information Technology (OIT); and it will impact all agencies of Maine State Government which use the Office’s e-mail and other electronic messaging networks.

 

IV. Responsibilities

A. Office of Information Technology

1. Disable Out-of-Office to the Internet global function on the Exchange servers.

2. Provide download with instructions for the Out-of-Office Alternative Rule for Outlook.

B. State employee

1. Download and install the Out-of-Office Alternative Rule to their Outlook client if they chose to send their Out-of-Office Reply messages to the internet.

 

V. Guidelines & Procedures

A. OIT will provide the users with a download file along with instructions for the Out-of-Office Alternative Outlook Rule via the Intranet.

B. Users who wish to send their Out-of-Office Replies to the Internet must download and install this rule onto their Outlook client to be enabled each time they are out of the office.

C. OIT will disable the Out-of-Office Reply to the Internet global function on the Exchange Mail servers.

VI. Definitions

 

1.      Out-of-Office Reply - An automatic email message sent from an employee’s mailbox whenever the Out-of-Office Reply rule in the Outlook client has been enabled by the employee.

 

2.      Out-of-Office Reply to the Internet - An automatic email message set up by an employee that responds to an Internet sender when the Out-of-Office Reply rule in Outlook is enabled AND the Out-of-Office Reply to the Internet function is enabled on the OIT Mail Exchange server.

 

3.      Out-of-Office Alternative Rule - An Outlook rule that can be downloaded to the client and enabled when applicable to send Out-of-Office replies to the Internet as well as to users on the State’s mail system once the Out-of-Office Reply to the Internet function is disabled on the OIT Mail Exchange server.  

 

VII. References

1.      Instructions and download for installing the Out-of-Office Alternative Rule to the Outlook client: http://inet.state.me.us/oit/services/electronicmessaging/index.html

 

2.      Policy to Minimize Delivery of Unwanted Commercial Electronic Messages throughout Maine State Government http://www.maine.gov/oit/oitpolicies/index.htm

 

VIII. Document Information

1.  Document Reference Number:     3.3

 

2.  Category:     Internet, Network and Transport

 

3.  Adoption Date:   August 10, 2006

 

4.  Effective Date:    August 10, 2006

 

5.  Review Date:     August 10, 2009

 

6.  Point of Contact:     Sandra Saunders, Maureen Tuttle and Lori Blier, Enterprise Messaging Team, Applications Services, Office of Information Technology

 

7. Approved By:     Richard B. Thompson, Chief Information Officer

 

8.  Position Title(s) or Agency Responsible for Enforcement:     Kathy Record, Associate Chief Information Officer, Office of Information Technology

 

9.  Legal Citation:

 

10.  Waiver Process: