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BG24 Newscast
September 29, 2023

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BG24 Newscast
September 29, 2023

ITS offers more email privacy for University community

Although some people may be worried about email providers being able to read their emails, students can remain worry-free with their University email.

“As of [Nov. 7.], all students, faculty and staff accounts are in a cloud email system, which Microsoft provides,” said John Ellinger, chief information officer in Information Technology Services.

This means no one has access to any other individual’s account, other than his or her own.

An individual’s account can only be accessed if ITS receives a subpoena or a complaint about receiving emails from someone.

An example is if the University investigates a student for a conduct violation, ITS can make a request, Ellinger said.

That, however, is a process.

In order to do so, a request is sent to Microsoft and they have to approve access. It also only happens in cases when someone is using their email account to send threatening emails to someone else on campus, Ellinger said.

Although Ellinger said email accounts cannot be accessed, some students aren’t quite convinced that their accounts are completely secure.

“I believe the University has to have some way to access our emails,” said Ian Robinson, a junior. ”They have access to everything else.”

ITS uses volume monitoring to keep track of email accounts. This means they monitor the usage of email accounts by how many emails are sent.

“Sometimes email viruses take over accounts without [people knowing],” Ellinger said. ”The number of emails sent is the first sign.”

If a student’s email account is sending an unusual number of emails, there is a chance the account is hacked. When this happens, the account is shut down, prohibiting the account from sending emails.

These are referred to as runaway accounts, Ellinger said.

The biggest issue that ITS has is when a student, faculty or staff member gives out their password. This allows multiple people to have access to his or her personal information.

Another issue Ellinger said is when accounts have viruses that collect passwords.

ITS look for them to try and manage these viruses.

“I hope that every student, faculty member and staff member recognizes that ITS is trying to be on guard, watch out for and protect their email accounts, usernames and passwords,” Ellinger said.

There are students who think that ITS is doing a good job of keeping student, faculty and staff accounts protected.

“I would say that my account seems like it’s protected,” said Shamiah Woods, a senior. “I don’t get spam and I think they do a good job of filtering unnecessary emails.”

ITS tries to prevent and react quickly to viruses, whether they are individual or collective, Ellinger said.

“I hope that everyone feels that their information is protected and secure,” Ellinger said, ”Protection is what we do every day.”

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