Email Etiquette (Tip 1)

Email Etiquette

 Use of the Centre’s email is a service provided by ICT to every member of staff the purpose of which is to facilitate formal required standard mode of official communication via electronic mail to support day to day relay of information among staff and external stakeholders.

 The following guiding tips are set forth to ensure use is consistent with this purpose and is responsible, legal, respectful, and within the policy standards established.

Ethical Standards  

  1. Communication via email should be official, professional and ethical. Emails MUST not be used to send inappropriate messages or information as this may have dire legal consequences to the centre and to the member(s) concerned. This includes the use of inappropriate language; harassment or discrimination on the basis of race, sex, color, religion, creed, national origin, ancestry, age, marital status, disability, gender identity, or gender expression.
  2. Respect the Legal Protection Provided by Copyright and Licensing; No distribution of copyright material should be done using electronic email unless officially authorized by the originator or owner.

Security and Privacy  

Users are responsible and accountable for all actions performed using their email account. The core principle is that security is everyone’s responsibility and everyone has a responsibility to protect their own “identity” on the centre’s computer systems.

  1. All are supposed to protect the confidentiality of their email access credentials and are expected to exercise reasonable care to ensure that their accounts are not used by others.
  2.  Access of the Centre resources use single sign-on i.e. access of many resources using the same username and password. Therefore email passwords are specific to one user and MUST never be shared to any other party internal or external.
  3.  Mobile email users should be made aware that the risk of messages being intercepted is high, especially in situations where the security of a mobile devices’ network connection is unknown (for example, public wireless networks or Internet cafes).
  4.  It is recommended that highly confidential information should not be sent by email to external parties. ICT can assist to encrypt messages containing highly confidential information that have to be sent by email.

 Never open a link in an email from someone you don’t know. Verify source before. Avoid opening inappropriate emails that have

  • Unsolicited messages (Spam)
  • Bad SMTP or Email headers
  • Invalidated source IP addresses
  • Bad domain names e.g.
  • Attachments containing inappropriate or malicious material (including viruses, worms and Trojans).

Use work email for work purposes. Work emails are not your property and all information or data stored on ICT systems are and shall remain the property of the Centre. Kindly refer to the ICT privacy and acceptable use policy for further clarification.

Upon your departure from the Centre, there is no guarantee of privacy of the information contained in your e-mailbox or archive folder(s). It is recommended that, prior to your departure; you delete all private and personal e-mail from your Centre e-mailbox and from your e-mail archive folder(s)

Do not reply to SPAM!

Remember, the privacy and security of an email is your responsibility.

 Email Distribution and Re-Distribution

 It is recommended that messages sent to email accounts in the system should not be automatically forwarded to any untrusted email addresses.

Avoid indiscriminate forwarding of messages or unnecessary proliferation of messages.

If you have doubts about forwarding a message, ask permission from the sender first. E-mail messages that you send can never be considered private as once received by the recipient you no-longer have control over what happens to the message.

Information useful to one person may be unnecessary to another. Consider your distribution lists carefully and regularly check to confirm membership details.

 Be sparing with group e-mail. Send group e-mail only when it's useful to every recipient. Use the "reply all" button only when compiling results requiring collective input and only if you have something to add.


 Users should only use software and systems for accessing email services that have been approved for use by the Centre. The main approved standard application is Microsoft Outlook for Windows and Mac.  Others include; Apple Mail for Mac and Thunderbird; Any non-standard application should be verified by ICT before use.

 Access to the email system when off campus should be through one of the following methods: 

  • From a notebook computer configured to use Outlook. 
  • From a web browser over a secure SSL connection . 
  • From a mobile device using ActiveSync; IPhone, Samsung Galaxy etc.  

Email Size and Storage;

Email messages are files, and take up computer space, just like any other data. Therefore;

Limit email to a sizes minimum especially emails with attachments. For large files, we recommend the use of file sharing applications such as google drive and drop box instead of email.

Delete email which is no longer required or of no use e.g. Spam, Junk Emails etc.

Check your mailbox size periodically.

proper use of email comes down to integrity, reason and good practice!  

Please refer to the ICT privacy and acceptable use policy for more details and guidance.

For assistance with this, do not hesitate to contact the respective helpdesk.