Email Forwarding Requirement for Georgia State Faculty/Staff Email

Automatic forwarding of university email messages poses a data security threat that can put students, faculty and staff at risk of fraud and identity theft. To better protect sensitive and confidential information, beginning at the Oct. 21, faculty, staff and student employees will no longer be able to automatically forward email from the Office 365 Faculty and Staff Email system to outside email addresses. Related University Policy and Standards >

More information on accounts affected and how to prepare is below.

Who Is Affected and How

Accounts of users employed by the university as well as non-person accounts within the Office 365 faculty/staff (@gsu.edu) email system will not be able to automatically forward to any account that does not also have an @gsu.edu email address. This includes the accounts of faculty, staff and student employees. Retirees or emeriti, not currently employed by the university, will be allowed to automatically forward to addresses that do not include '@gsu.edu.'
The system will not allow @gsu.edu accounts to automatically forward to addresses that do not include @gsu.edu exactly. This means that after the implementation date, these accounts will not be able to automatically forward to @student.gsu.edu or @subdomain.gsu.edu without explicit special permission for a legitimate business reason.
No. Because the PantherMail student email system will continue to allow for automated outside forwarding, employees with both student and faculty/staff accounts will not be able to forward their faculty/staff accounts to their student accounts. Student accounts can be forwarded to faculty/staff accounts but we do not recommend doing this because the two accounts have different purposes and different timeframes in which they are available based on the user's faculty/staff or student role. Instead we recommend that you set up your email program to check both accounts. Here's how you can set up Outlook for various devices: Windows | Mac | Android | iOS
Student accounts can be forwarded to faculty/staff accounts but we do not recommend doing this because the two accounts have different purposes and different timeframes in which they are available based on the user's faculty/staff or student role. Instead we recommend that you set up your email program to check both accounts. Here's how you can set up Outlook for various devices: Windows | Mac | Android | iOS
Yes. As long as retirees or emeriti are not currently employed by the university, the accounts belonging to then can be set to allow automated forwarding. However, if the retiree or emeritus is also currently staff or faculty, automated forwarding will not be available.
Because you can review the content of individual emails before manually forwarding the information, manual forwarding of specific messages to an outside address will not be disabled. Review the content of forwarded messages and the location they are going to before forwarding the information.

Yes. University records, including, but not limited to, documents, emails, notes, photographs, videos, etc., are subject to the Georgia Open Records Act and valid subpoenas, regardless of whether the information is (a) contained on a university device or a personal device (e.g. mobile phones, laptops, tablets, desktop computers, etc.) or (b) created, reviewed or maintained in university applications (e.g., Outlook, Sharepoint, etc.) or personal applications (e.g., Gmail, Yahoo Mail, etc.). University records are subject to review and disclosure, absent any valid exceptions being applicable to the particular records pursuant to the act. To avoid the possibility of university records within personal email accounts being subject to the act, it is good practice to keep work and personal communications separate.

As a university employee, you may have access to information that is confidential or sensitive in nature or that relates to other faculty, staff students or members of the university community. Automatically forwarding your email without review or using an account other than your work account for handling this information can present a data security risk and can put others at risk for identity theft or other misuse of the information. It’s important to use your Office 365 email account for work-related communications to keep any information shared with you as an employee secure.

If the gmail/other personal email account you reference is being used for personal rather than GSU work purposes, we don’t necessarily recommend the practice of forwarding it to your @gsu.edu email account. While no measures are planned at this time to prevent outside email accounts from forwarding to GSU work email, mixing personal and business email can present complications. One reason you might reconsider this practice is because of the Georgia Public Records Act. University records, including, but not limited to, documents, emails, notes, photographs, videos, etc., are subject to the Georgia Open Records Act and valid subpoenas, regardless of whether the information is (a) contained on a university device or a personal device (e.g. mobile phones, laptops, tablets, desktop computers, etc.) or (b) created, reviewed or maintained in university applications (e.g., Outlook, Sharepoint, etc.) or personal applications (e.g., Gmail, Yahoo Mail, etc.). University records are subject to review and disclosure, absent any valid exceptions being applicable to the particular records pursuant to the act.

To avoid the possibility of university records within personal email accounts being subject to the act (or vice versa), it is good practice to keep work and personal communications separate.

Instead, we recommend that you set up your email program to check both accounts. Here's how you can set up Outlook for various devices. It can check both your Office 365 and gmail account on your mobile device, etc.
Windows | Mac | Android | iOS

Retiree accounts are less susceptible to a major breach of data than active employee accounts. This is also true of students, who do not have access to large volumes of others’ sensitive data.

This requirement applies to work related email accounts and is intended to help safeguard data by helping ensure that GSU employees (faculty, staff, employed students and employed retirees) review any data in their email messages before unintentionally forwarding them to a less secure outside email environment. Therefore, it only applies to retiree email accounts if the account holders are also employed at the university currently and only applies to student employees when they are auto-forwarding from their @gsu.edu work email account.

While we encourage retirees using their retiree accounts and students using their student email accounts to consider carefully any auto-forwarding that could expose their own personal information, it is the accidental exposure of data an employee may have access to that this requirement is intended to address.

What to Expect / How to Prepare

Faculty and staff who are not also students, can set a preferred first name using Panther Profile, which affects how the user's name is reflected in the Office 365 email system as well as certain other systems. Manage Your Panther Profile >
Rather than forward email to outside accounts, we recommend that account holders check email using software such as Microsoft Outlook. With Outlook, you can check email from multiple accounts or service providers, including the Office 365 Faculty/Staff email system, PantherMail Student email, and many other providers. Outlook is available for free on up to five devices for university faculty, staff and students. Here's how you can set up Outlook for various devices: Windows | Mac | Android | iOS
Once the new requirement has been implemented, users will still have the settings available to enter email addresses for the automatic forwarding setting or set rules for automatic forwarding to outside addresses. However, automated forwards will be blocked before they are sent. Users with automatic forwarding to outside email addresses set will receive an email message that states that each email that was blocked was not sent. See examples below.
If the automatic forwarding setting is set to forward to an outside email address after the new restrictions go into place, a user forwarding to an outside address will receive the following message for each message that the system attempts to auto-forward.

If a rule is set to auto-forward to an outside email address after the new restrictions go into place, a user forwarding to an outside address will receive the following message for each message that the rule attempts to auto-forward.

Use the forwarding exception request form to request an exception for forwarding to an outside email address. Exception request are for legitimate purposes such as using a non-person account with a secured system that uses an outside email address to assist with fulfilling a contracted service for the university.

While its always good practice to consider using your official @gsu.edu GSU email address for correspondence related to GSU work and teaching activities, this requirement affects automatic forwarding by setting or by rule in Office 365 Faculty and Staff email at this time. It does not affect settings in iCollege at this time.
Apply for a legitimate exception for business purposes using the forwarding exception request form.

Contact the IIT Service Desk at help.gsu.edu, help@gsu.edu or 404-413-HELP (404-413-4357) for technical help.