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Office of Information Technology

Frequently Asked Questions about Unsolicited Electronic Bulk Mail

What is Unsolicited Electronic Bulk Mail?

Unsolicited Electronic Bulk Mail is any unsolicited e-mail communication that is distributed to twenty-five or more people. These e-mail messages are generally for the purpose of communication about topics of interest (for example, Today@AU, or the Alumni Update Newsletter), or are intended to solicit information about your experience at AU (such as, AU's Campus Climate survey).

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What is an Allowed Senders List?

An Allowed Senders List is a list or collection of people or entities that are known, trusted, or explicitly permitted. In the case of Unsolicited Electronic Bulk Mail, the Office of Information Technology maintains an Allowed Senders List of trusted sources that send messages to the American University community.

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Why use an Allowed Senders List?

Allowed Senders Lists are a best practice to defend against cyber criminals using social engineering techniques to convince us to share personally identifiable information, banking information, passwords, and pins. The incidents of these types of attacks, known as Phishing or Spear Phishing, are on the increase. Please read more about Phishing by visiting the Social Engineering web page.

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What University Policies govern Unsolicited Electronic Bulk Mail?

The AU Electronic Mass Communication Policy is posted in full on the University website.

Excerpt: “…[E-mail use] for mass electronic communications (e-mail and others) by any group, unit, or individual requires appropriate approval, typically cabinet official or designee, and will use the appropriate communication tool, as indicted by the type of audience and message.”

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Who do I call to make sure my Unsolicited Electronic Bulk Mail gets delivered?

Please contact the IT Help Desk at 202-885-2550, e-mail, or AskAmericanUHelp, if you are using a third-party tool or have contracted with an outside company to send Unsolicited Electronic Bulk Mail to the AU community. Please indicate that you would like to have your sender's address added to the University's Allowed Senders List. You can also request that an Unsolicited Electronic Bulk Mail message be submitted to all or specific parts of the AU community through the Office of Information Technology by submitting to the IT Help Desk.

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What information do I need to provide to the IT Help Desk?

For external senders who wish to either be guaranteed delivery, or who wish to use a "From:" address that contains "," you must provide:

  • the IP address and host name of the servers from which the messages will be sent
  • the name of the company
  • the name of the sponsoring organization or department within AU
  • a company technical contact

If you wish to have the message sent by the Office of Information Technology, you must provide:

  • your contact information
  • appropriately documented approval from your department
  • the message that you wish to send along with its subject header
  • the target audience within the AU community (for example: All Full-time Faculty or Students living in Anderson Hall)
Please note: you must submit your request 48 hours before you would like it to be sent.

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What happens if my Unsolicited Electronic Bulk Mail isn't being received?

Please contact the IT Help Desk to report any problems at 202-885-2550, e-mail, or AskAmericanUHelp.

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