GAELIC Summer Camp University of the Witwatersrand Simon Mofokeng E-MAIL ETIQUETTE
OBJECTIVES For the purpose of this document “Mail” will refer to “Email”
Electronic mail, or “Mail”, provides an easy-to use, efficient means of communicating with other members of workgroups and the External Internet Communities.
The purpose of this presentation is to ensure the proper use of email system and make users aware of what is deemed as acceptable and unacceptable use of the system. E-MAIL ETIQUETTE
RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE USER Legal Risks: 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. The following guidelines for working with “Mail” are designed to ensure that you and your colleagues get the maximum benefit from the system.
The following information is included in the pages that follow: * Responsibilities of the user * Activities to avoid * Hints and tips
RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE USER Limited “Mail” must not be used as a forum of political, religious, or other debates, or as a form of entertainment or broadcasting, or for sending chain letters or advertisements or jokes or non- business related issue. Each message occupies valuable time on the network, and discretion must be used when using “Mail”.
Length When using “Mail”, keep your message as brief and to the point as possible.
Long messages tend to lose their point. Rather send a message requesting a meeting to discuss lengthy issues. E-MAIL ETIQUETTE
RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE USER Title Give every message a title
Make sure the subject line of your message provide a brief, clear description of the contents of the message
Effectiveness Read “Mail” message regularly and respond timeously where necessary. The effectiveness of a “Mail” system in improving productivity and communication is based on responsiveness. Read your message regularly and reply as soon as possible. E-MAIL ETIQUETTE
RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE USER E-MAIL ETIQUETTE
RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE USER Selective Be selective when forwarding or replying to a “Mail” message. Consider who really need to see the message. Forward it only to those who need information.
Protect Your user passwords are the gateway to your PC and systems resources including mail, Protect it all the time. You are responsible for actions taken under your user ID. Once your user ID is logged on, it is impossible to tell whether it is really you or someone else sending the message. Do not use passwords that would be obvious to others, and change it immediately if you think it has been compromised.
Activate your Windows screen saver password to kick in automatically when idle after a few minutes. E-MAIL ETIQUETTE
RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE USER Size Keep your mailbox and “Mail” files as small as possible
Delete message from your mailbox after you have read or filed them. File only those messages that really need to be recorded.
Housekeeping Carry out regular housekeeping on your files A facility exists “Mail” to archive messages to free up space on the system. If at a later date you need to refer to them, it is possible to access them. Another option will be to create a ‘personal folder’ and move the important “Mail” items to the personal folder. Delete or archive messages from the sent item folder regularly.
RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE USER Logging off Exit and log off on your mail system if you will be away for an extended period and when you leave at the end of the day. Certain maintenance might be done overnight on the server, and this is only possible if you have logged out of your computer.
Privacy “Mail” message are considered private correspondence. As such, messages are viewed as the private property of the receiver and will not be made available to Management. Although privacy and security are of the utmost importance, auditors, or investigators are authorized to investigate misuse of the network, such as theft, pornography, harassment, excessive private use, etc.
ACTIVITIES TO AVOID Misuse Do not send any obscene, racist, defamatory or otherwise offensive material via “Mail” The use of vulgar language is expressly forbidden over the network, be it on company business, or in a private capacity.
Personal use Note- Sending and receiving excessive non-business related messages is prohibited.
ACTIVITIES TO AVOID Confrontation Do not use “Mail” to avoid confrontation. In certain instances, such as disciplinary or explosive circumstances, the sending of “Mail” messages is inappropriate. Do not send rude or argumentative messages. These situations can only be dealt within in a face to- face confrontation and “Mail” should not be used. Large files Do not send large files as attachment. Be selective in the files you send to others via “Mail”. Within your own work group, it is better to share the file and send a message regarding the file name to the recipients. Attached files dramatically increase the network overhead as well as the size of the “Mail” file. Priority Do not flag all messages as high priority Do not send “Mail” as the highest priority unless it really merits that priority. High –priority “Mails” message should only be used for the most important message and when you need an immediately response.
ACTIVITIES TO AVOID Password Do not give your password/s to others You are responsible for any mail message originating from your machine. Giving other employees access to your system could result in fraudulent use of “Mail”. Confidential Information Avoid sending confidential information by “Mail”. If you do, you must secure the information by including it in a Microsoft Word file protecting it with a password. Then provide the recipient with the password by means of other communication, for instance by telephone.
HINTS AND TIPS Requirements Set the options to suit your requirements Check for messages every 15 - 60 minutes. Sound the chime when a new message arrives. Flash the envelope when a new message arrives.
Receipt Use the return receipt option If you are not sure whether the addressees are receiving messages, use the return receipt option. This will send a message back to you, informing you that the recipient has got the message. E-MAIL ETIQUETTE
HINTS AND TIPS Backing up
Your “Mail” files should be backed-up periodically; otherwise users carry the responsibility if not provided by business.
Tip Include a signature that contains other methods by which others can contact you. This usually includes your full name, job title, and company name and telephone numbers. Do not send messages all in capital as it will appear as if you are shouting. Use bold lettering or underlining for emphasis, e.g., use that is what I meant, rather than that IS what I meant. E-MAIL ETIQUETTE
Questions firstname.lastname@example.org Thank you once again for adhering to guidelines. E-MAIL ETIQUETTE