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ARCHIVED: What is IU's policy toward chain letters?

Chain mail is a form of junk mail. A chain mail message is generally sent to several people and includes instructions that each person should forward the letter to several others. These messages waste system resources and often grow quite large as senders append their own additions. Do not forward such messages.

If a message looks legitimate, but you aren't sure, at Indiana University, your campus Support Center can advise you; for contact information, see the Knowledge Base document How do I contact the Support Center at each IU campus for help?

If you get chain email from someone with an apparent IU email address, you should report it immediately to the Information Technology Policy Office (ITPO) by forwarding the entire message with full headers intact to  it-incident@iu.edu . For more information about full headers, see the Knowledge Base document In email, what are full headers? Policy officers will contact the offender by email. Possible penalties include a warning, loss of account privileges, or legal liability.

If you get chain email from someone not affiliated with IU, you can reply to the sender noting your displeasure, or you can delete and ignore the message. If you choose to complain, make sure you know how to determine the actual source. Include the offending message and all header information. Most email and Internet service providers (ISPs) have policies regarding the propagation of chain email and how to deal with it.

For more information about chain mail and proper use of your computer account, see:

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Last modified on August 30, 2010.

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