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Out of Office Updates

 by Phillip Lyle                                         

On September 30th, ITS announced the immediate availability of Out of Office replies to external users.    

­What changed?

This change affects the delivery behavior of responses generated from Out of Office replies. Previously, an external user who sends a message to a district employee would NOT receive the configured Out of Office message. All internal and external users will now see all Out of Office replies.     

Help protect against impersonation & theft  

Since Out of Office messages are indiscriminately sent to all email users, consider the following best practices when crafting your reply. Review the following problematic message:

I am away on vacation in Las Vegas until 10/1.  Please contact my manager Jane Smith (Dean of Admissions) at x04151 with any issues. In case of emergency I can be reached on my cell at 714-555-4165. 

To correct the above reply, consider the following modifications:

  • Refrain from using the names of specific places in your reply. Telling a criminal you will be out of town invites an easy window for impersonation or property theft.  Instead, say “I am unavailable until xxxx”
  • Try to avoid using the names and job titles of fellow co-workers in your reply. If absolutely necessary to leave alternate contact information, consider referring to a department (“Contact the Registrar”) or a generic email address.
  • Do not put any personal information, such as a cell phone number or address in your reply.  

An improved Out of Office message:

I am currently unavailable until 10/1.  Please contact the Registrar with any issues that require immediate attention.