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  1. #1
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    Out of Office, Out of Mind? (98 8.5.5603.0)

    Our IT specialists have disabled our Out Of Office reply function for 'outside' addresses (i.e. no message is sent outside of our main offices). I learned of this from an outside contact who asked me why I didn't use it when I was away. On checking with IT I was told, unofficially, that this was due to two reasons:

    1. Our Senior Management team "did not have a consensus on how we should handle our e-mail messages while away from the office"

    2. Our Senior IT person's "recommendation on the technical risks. This includes e-mail traffic, risk of e-mail bouncing and other security considerations"

    Regarding 1 - I would have been surprised if these people had come to consensus on the shape of the boardroom table let alone something like this. Are there any standard rules. What do other orginisations use? Does anyone have a set of do/s and don't/s?

    Regarding 2 - I suspect our senior IT person is smoking something that should only be used for medicinal purposes. OK, maybe she isn't but this is very frustrating. I did a search of this forum and found a few comments like the one from "OldDog" that said: "They always (or almost) turn it off for outside-bound replies because you can easily get into a loop between two parties that are both sending out-of-office to each other. This can bring down servers!" While I understand the concept here I thought that OOO messages were sent only once to each person (per day?). How does the loop occur and is there a fix. I also get the idea from other posts that a rule set up to do the same thing may not work either.
    If I can use a rule what is the best way to determine if the incoming message is from the internet?

    Too many questions - my apologies but any/all help will be most appreciated.

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    Re: Out of Office, Out of Mind? (98 8.5.5603.0)

    OOFs are a security risk - not only do they alert people that you are away, they also often include too much personal information. I've received some that said "I'll be on vacation in Cancun the next two weeks...."

    The fix for mail loops is to not get into a situtation where they can happen. Forwarding is also responsible for mail loops and they are turned off too. turning off OOF and forwarding is accepted as a 'best practice' for exchange management.

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    Re: Out of Office, Out of Mind? (98 8.5.5603.0)

    MaryJ

    Thanks for your reply. I see what you mean that these types of tools can be a security risk but it is a pity that we sensible, responsible people have to 'suffer' (ok - not that much) because of the perceived need to protect the stupids from themselves. But as they also could put others at risk I suppose this is a prudent idea. While I don't recall seeing an OOF announcing the time and location of a holiday I certainly have heard found these on voice mail messages. Pity we can't extend this logic to that 'product' and ban voice mail from the face of the earth (but I digress).

    In my original message I asked if there was any way to distinguish between an internal and an external e-mail message. I am trying to separate replies into internal and external folders. I have tried writing a rule that looks for a '@' but that doesn't seem to work. Any ideas on how I could do this?

    Many thanks for your help <img src=/S/confused.gif border=0 alt=confused width=15 height=20>

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    Re: Out of Office, Out of Mind? (98 8.5.5603.0)

    it's hard to filter internal and external mail - exchange mail doesn't include a header. most people use a header contains rule, rather than trying to do it by an email address. there is an outlook users group run by sue mosher at <A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.yahoogroups.com>http://www.yahoogroups.com</A> - filtering internal and external mail was discussed some months ago. Search their archives for the exact solution suggested.

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    Re: Out of Office, Out of Mind? (98 8.5.5603.0)

    Just to answer one of your questions (what do other organizations use), my (law) firm used to keep OOO from going out of the firm, but we turned it off for a few weeks to test something else. A few attorneys found out that the OOO's were going out, and they liked the fact that the clients knew that they were out. When we stopped letting the OOO's out again, the attorneys complained so much that we had to let them have it again.

    So basically, most other law firms in my area don't allow the OOO's out, but we do.

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