Threatening or harassing email at IU

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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; see Use of Electronic Mail (IT-21).

What to do about unwanted email

  • Threatening email: 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 Security Office (UISO) at
  • Harassing email: 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 UISO at Be sure to include the full headers in everything you forward.

    For instructions on displaying and sending full headers, see Display and send the full headers of an email message.

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

  • Annoying email: If you are receiving annoying email messages but you do not feel the need to involve law enforcement, consider changing your spam filter settings. You can often create your own mail filtering rules to screen out messages with a known pattern (for example, from a particular sender or with a particular subject line); for assistance, refer to your mail program's help. See also:

Other IU resources

You can also refer to other IU resources:

This is document aiwc in the Knowledge Base.
Last modified on 2024-04-18 11:31:02.