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Email Server AdministrationEdit

Retrieved from ISED-L 2/22/08 The way we have our network currently setup is that only our spam filter is allowed to send out email on port 25, all others are blocked. Our internal users are filtered as well. This will prevent that issue from happening. Another thing, black lists also will hit you for is NDR or back scattering. I have found a useful website to monitor black lists for free for your email address it is http://www.mxtoolbox.com


Email Accounts & Distribution ListsEdit

How do you manage student email accounts and distribution lists for your school?

Subdomains: [Our school] at one time set-up two separate servers and established a child domain so that all student accounts were clearly discernible. This should be possible with one Exchange Server unless you create a child domain in your AD forest. In your case it could look like this: jsmith07@student.myschool.org instead of "jsmith@myschool.org". It might be beneficial to mark the anticipated year of graduation (07 in this example) as that helps to quickly search and build distribution lists by class (7th graders, etc.) and also in inactivating accounts as seniors graduate. One more consideration that this technique addresses is that mail from the domain "xxx@fis.edu" may imply that the message represents the viewpoints or policies of fis.edu. Recipients of messages from the domain "xxx@students.fis.edu" should easily know that the message originated from a student and not a faculty member.20


Global distribution lists: You can easily note in the description field of student accounts that the account is for a student (or STUDENT) in the description field. However, a faculty member might not pay attention to this field. Another technique would be to note in the display name of the account something to denote the account as a student account (i.e. display name 3D Jane Smith/FIS Student). This should display both in the global contacts and in the auto-fill feature for recent recipients for users of MS Outlook.20

Distribution lists: Exchange Server 2000 and 2003 offers the option of securing distribution lists to specific users or groups of users (i.e. staff and/or faculty). Alternatively, you can elect to restrict the list so that only members of the list (distribution group) can mail messages to the list.

Either of these methods might prove useful in keeping more creative students from posting faculty/staff distribution lists as email addresses for non1Eschool activities (nothing like all faculty receiving messages from a gaming list-serve (or worse) to kill this initiative.

One final consideration would be to clearly inform your parents that, while your school is providing the accounts for students use and (presumably) for school purposes, you cannot be responsible for the content of messages created by students and/or others who may send mail to these accounts. This can be a big can of worms as some parents may decide that they do not want their child to participate. It may be helpful to restrict email accounts at lower grades (3-5th?) so that they can send and receive only to other school accounts, thus allowing students to develop safe emailing habits before moving on to full access. Exchange also provides options for this. Also, as you are aware, providing a good Bayesian filtering anti-spam solution (such as Spam Assassin, Barracuda, or the mail washing services offered by www.swirbo.com) is a must when providing student email accounts.

-B. Hendricks

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