A:The District makes extensive use of electronic mail (e-mail) to conduct its day to day business. There are more than 8,500 e-mail accounts currently in use by teachers, staff and administrators and the District processes in excess of 200,000 electronic mail messages per day. Numerous automated systems monitor and filter the District's e-mail services. In fact, over 93% of all e-mail is filtered due content, viruses and SPAM. The filtering services in use are state of the art; however, the Internet and e-mail are constantly evolving and new threats are discovered on a daily basis. Users of the District e-mail system need to be aware and vigilant of these potential threats and how to cope with and report them.
Spam is generally defined as unsolicited and unwanted e-mail. Just like junk mail sent to your home, SPAM sent to your e-mail address contains advertisements. Unlike junk mail however, SPAM is incredibly cheap to send. Thousands of SPAM messages can be sent from anywhere in the world for a few pennies. Unfortunately, most of the SPAM that you see comes from outside the United States. While there are federal laws concerning SPAM there is no international law or enforcement. What can you do? Try these simple steps first.
- Delete the message. There are limited resources that the District can allocate to preventing SPAM. If you receive an unsolicited message - delete it. If a SPAM message that you receive is offensive, threatening or obscene, forward it to the Help Desk ('HelpDesk' in Outlook) for review.
- Unsubscribe to the e-mail. Most SPAM e-mails contain a link that can be used to unsubscribe to their messages. Take a moment to follow the steps listed in the message to prevent future messages. If a SPAM e-mail does not have an unsubscribe link, or the link does not work, forward it to the Help Desk ('HelpDesk' in Outlook).
- Your District email account is provided to conduct business related to District operations. Do not provide you District email account to anyone, any web site or any entity not related to District business. So, if you receive email from a commercial web site, you will know if it is SPAM or not.
- If you would like more information, the Federal Trade Commission has excellent resources regarding SPAM at www.ftc.gov, click on "Consumers" and "Internet and e-Commerce".
Viruses are rampant on the Internet and e-mail is the most popular way of spreading viruses. District based anti-virus software is updated dozens of times per day but still, on occasion, viruses get through. Once your computer has a virus it is possible to spread it to other computers at your site. The result is lost productivity on your part and hundreds of man-hours for Technology & Information Services to scan and repair the damage. Viruses can be prevented in several simple ways.
- Do not open e-mail from a person that you do not know or any e-mail that you are not expecting if it contains an attachment (a paper clip icon in Outlook).
- If an e-mail is suspicious, contact the sender to see if they sent you an e-mail. Many viruses "impersonate" the sender. Just because an e-mail has John Doe as the sender does not mean that John Doe sent you the message or that their system has a virus.
- If you opened an e-mail and feel that it may have contained a virus or believe that your system may be infected, contact the Help Desk immediately (x8411 or 'HelpDesk' in Outlook). The Help Desk can walk you through the steps to scan your system for viruses.
The Federal Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA) requires the District to take active measures to filter inappropriate Internet content. While this system is very comprehensive, it is not perfect. Some inappropriate sites do get through and some legitimate sites are blocked. Please contact the Help Desk at x8411 or 'HelpDesk' in Outlook to report web sites that you feel should be blocked or unblocked.
In Outlook, when you send an e-mail to another Outlook user (any LBUSD teacher, staff or administrator), you need only type the person's names on the TO: line. It is not necessary to know or type their 'Internet mail address' such as firstname.lastname@example.org. As you type the person's name on the TO: line, Outlook will attempt to find the closest match to a user in the address book. If you cannot find a user or do not know the correct spelling of their name, you can browse the Outlook address book by full name, last name, location, etc.
Electronic Mail is provided for staff and students to conduct research and communicate with others on academic topics and to engage in legitimate District business. In May 2002, the Board of Education approved the District Internet and Electronic Mail Guidelines and Procedures to govern the use of this tool. These guidelines can be viewed on the web at: http://www.lbusd.k12.ca.us/technology/standards/accept.htm