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E-mail chain letters violate UTSA, UT System policy

By Alex Morones
OIT Technical Writer/Editor

(Aug. 10, 2005)--Recently a number of chain letters have been sent through the UTSA e-mail system. Although senders are often well intentioned, UTSA e-mail users should be aware that forwarding chain letters is a violation of UTSA and UT System policy and it can pose various problems.

According to the UTSA Office of Information Technology, UTSA community members must follow certain e-mail usage guidelines and standards. Often messages sent through chain letters are hoaxes (ex. "Bill Gates will send you money."), scams to take your money (ex. "Help me retrieve money from a secret African bank account."), misguided pleas for help (ex. "Collect aluminum can tops for dialysis patients.") or traditional "good-luck" messages (ex. "Don't break this chain!").

In each of these cases, not only do chain e-mail messages clog in-boxes and burden the UTSA e-mail system, they also have the potential to introduce viruses to the UTSA network or to your home PC.

UTSA policies and standards specifically address the transmission of chain letters and other unwanted material. It is strictly prohibited to send unauthorized e-mail messages to all or large parts of the UTSA community (known as "broadcast messages").

Continued abuse of the e-mail system may subject faculty members, staff or students to disciplinary action. If you receive a chain letter -- delete it.

For more information, contact the OIT Help Desk at (210) 458-5538.

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Information on hoaxes and urban legends

UTSA Information Resources Security policy, Acceptable Use policy and information security standards

UTSA Handbook of Operating Procedures, Information Resources Use and Security Policy

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