Mercy College Email Policy Legal implications of EMAIL
Email is a business communication tool and users are obliged to use this tool in a responsible, effective and lawful manner. Although by its nature email seems to be less formal than other written communication, the same laws apply. Therefore, it is important that users are aware of the legal implications of email:
- If you send emails with any libelous, defamatory, offensive, racist or obscene remarks, you and Mercy College can be held liable.
- If you forward emails with any libelous, defamatory, offensive, racist or obscene remarks, you and Mercy College can be held liable.
- If you unlawfully forward confidential information, you and Mercy College can be held liable. If you send an attachment that contains a virus, you and Mercy College can be held liable.
- Email is discoverable in a court of law and may be used as evidence. There is no presumption of confidentiality or privileged communication.
Mercy College EMAIL Policy
Email accounts can be requested using the Email request form available either on Campus Pipeline or on the Exchange web site https://exchange.mercy.edu. Email accounts are limited to employees of the College. The form should be completed and submitted to the Help Desk. When done on the web, the application is automatically emailed to the Help Desk. Email accounts take one week to activate and should be requested prior to an employee’s start date. When an employee leaves the College the Help Desk should be notified immediately so that employee’s access can be removed. The account will then be deactivated in one week unless other arrangements are made. Prior to the account deactivation, managers should make arrangements to review the email box and make the necessary arrangements to cancel subscriptions, forward emails etc. All email accounts maintained on our email systems are property of Mercy College. Email accounts not used for 60 days will be deactivated and possibly deleted.
Email is a limited resource and care should be taken to minimize the size and number of attachments that are sent. All attachments should have a legitimate business purpose. Email with graphics or colored backgrounds require far more resources than plain emails and should not be used for business correspondence. Due to the possibility of viruses sent via email in attachments, virus scanning software should be kept current. Instructions are available on the Computer Center page in Campus Pipeline. Although the firewall scans for viruses and attachments with malicious intent, an individual who forwards a known virus into or within the Mercy email system may have their account deactivated.
Every attempt is made to keep the Outlook Address Book current. Employees who change positions, locations or phone numbers should notify the Help Desk so that the Address Book can be changed.
The email system is designed for legitimate business purposes. Therefore, the sending of personal emails, chain letters, junk mail, jokes and executables is inappropriate. All messages distributed via the email system are Mercy College’s property. If you maintain a personal email address, that email should not be forwarded to or accessed from your Mercy email account.
Users expressly waive any right of privacy in anything they create, store, send or receive on the College’s computer system. Mercy College can, but is not obliged to, monitor emails without prior notification. If there is evidence that you are not adhering to the guidelines set out in this policy, Mercy College reserves the right to take disciplinary action, including termination and/or legal action.
Efficient Email Practices
Mercy College considers email as an important means of communication and recognizes the importance of proper email content and speedy replies. Users should take the same care in drafting an email as they would for any other communication. Therefore Mercy College wishes users to adhere to the following guidelines:
- Well-structured emails use short, descriptive subjects.
- Users should spell check all mails prior to transmission.
- Do not send unnecessary attachments. An attachment being sent to a large number of people may be more appropriate to be set up as a link on the Mercy College website or Campus Pipeline.
- Do not write emails in capitals or in large and/or fancy fonts
- Do not use decorative backgrounds, colors, graphics or animations.
- Only mark emails as important if they really are important.
- Only request a return receipt in extremely time-sensitive or critical communications. Return receipt should not be the default setting in Outlook.
- Do not email anything you would not want forwarded to others.
- Think carefully before including someone in the To or Cc fields. On group emails, Reply to All rather than just the sender unless otherwise instructed.
- Do not use the Bcc field. Respondents should be aware to whom they are replying. However, respondents should never assume that their response will not be shared with others.
- Activate the Out of Office Wizard, as warranted; deactivate when you return to the office.Use WinZip to zip large files, such as Excel spreadsheets, before emailing. Instructions are available on the Computer Center page in Campus Pipeline
Email Policy Guidelines for Uploading a Photo to your Mercy Outlook Account
(The maximum size of a user photo is 30KB)
- You should use a photograph of yourself.
- Face should take 60% of frame
- Tip: Crop picture from top of shoulders
- Choose ideal expression
- The background of the photo should be suitable and not distracting.
- Dress attire should be professional (no sunglasses or hats unless they are part of a uniform or are required for medical or religious reasons).
- Wear clothes that match the level of dressiness in your workplace.
- Do not copy photographs of other employees for personal use outside of work place activity.
- Do not post pictures of someone other than yourself in Mercy Outlook or Lync Account.
- If you would like to upload your Mercy ID photo, please request a copy by contacting the Mercy Helpdesk at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Delete any email messages that you do not need, and set your email client to automatically empty your ‘deleted items’ on closing. The Help Desk can assist you with doing this.
- Emails that represent policy or other decision-making activities should be saved in appropriate Personal folders. This includes both received and sent emails.
- The Inbox and Sent Items folders are not for storage. You can create personal folders on your hard drive to file and organize your emails. The Help Desk can assist you with this.