UITS

At IU, what should I do about threatening or harassing email?

A message is typically defined as harassing if the recipient has asked the sender to cease contact. Sending harassing email using any university information technology resource is a violation of Indiana University policy.

If you feel that your safety or property is at risk, do not respond to the threatening message, but instead contact your local law enforcement agency immediately. If you are a student or a faculty or staff member at one of the IU campuses, contact your campus police. After you've contacted law enforcement, forward the message with full headers to the University Information Policy Office (UIPO) at it-incident@iu.edu.

If you receive an email message from someone you do not want to contact you but you don't feel threatened, you should first write to that person, respectfully asking that you not be contacted again. Save the original message as well as your reply. If the person contacts you again, forward all messages (the first unwanted message, your request to cease contact, and any following unwanted messages) to UIPO at it-incident@iu.edu. Be sure to include the full headers in everything you forward.

For instructions on displaying and sending full headers, see How do I display and send the full headers of an email message?

UIPO staff will investigate the complaint and verify the source of the message, and then pass the incident to the proper disciplinary department (e.g., Dean of Students, Human Resources, the police department), depending on the location and status of the harasser.

If you are receiving annoying email messages but you do not feel the need to involve law enforcement, UITS offers a filtering service; see At IU, what is the spam quarantine service? Alternatively, you can write your own mail filter to screen out messages with a known pattern (e.g., from a particular sender or with a particular subject line); for assistance, refer to your mail program's help.

You can also refer to other IU resources:

This is document aiwc in the Knowledge Base.
Last modified on 2015-04-20.

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