|IT takes action on e-mail concerns||
February 4, 2004
IT is aware that those using e-mail are experiencing slow performance and is working to solve the problem, according to Mike Barnett, vice president for administration and finance.
"This slowness is a result of the upgrade applied to MetroConnect over the holiday break," explained IT Director Yvonne Flood. "IT staff is working around the clock with the vendor to solve this problem and hopes to have a solution in the next few days."
Flood said that IT is working on a back-up plan in case a solution is not found within the next several days.
"The IT staff has been working long hours and doing an excellent job managing the problem," added Barnett.
The MetroConnect upgrade that affected the speed offers the ability to add an e-mail channel on the home page and the addition of a search option for e-mail messages that use criteria such as sender name, subject, recipient name or message content.
Flood also addressed recent concerns about spam - unsolicited e-mail - and virus issues. "These are not unique to Metro, nor are they directly related to MetroConnect," Flood said. "Business and institutions around the world have been impacted by the viruses and are responding to the attacks as we are, as quickly and efficiently as possible."
To filter spam, IT recently received funding to implement a spam solution that IT hopes to have in place soon. "IT staff has reviewed a number of software solutions for the spam problem and has chosen a server-based solution that we hope will allow maximum flexibility for the individual while allowing the best use of our server and network resources," Barnett said.
Generally, spam is any e-mail sent to a large inclusive group of people who have not asked to receive it, nor do they want to receive it. "Not all campus-wide e-mails exacerbate the problem, but any time people post to the "all" lists, they are increasing the volume of e-mail in everyone's inbox," Flood said, adding that replying to the "all-list" e-mails and creating discussion threads through them is considered spam by many Metro users. "To be considerate of others, users should first consider responding only to the individual who sent the original e-mail to the list, not to the entire list," Flood said.
Flood reiterated IT's response to last week's e-mail virus, called MyDoom or Novarg. On Monday, Jan. 26, the virus computers around the world, hitting prior to a fix being provided by vendors. "The update to the virus programs was received Monday night and applied immediately. Only those who received and opened the messages prior to the patch being applied were infected," she said. The next day, technicians were dispatched to the desktops of those who have the virus.
Flood emphasized that part of the responsibility for keeping the network running smoothly rests with users. Those who open viruses, which then launch thousands of unwanted e-mails across the network, slow the network down.
"It is critical that users never open e-mails or attachments they are not expecting, e-mails where the subject line or contents appear strange, or e-mail from someone they don't know or don't normally communicate with - delete anything suspicious immediately," Flood said.
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