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Eckerd College
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St. Petersburg, FL 33711

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Information Technology Services

Information Technology Services

Email Retention Policy

1.0 Purpose

The Email Retention Policy is intended to help students and employees determine what information sent or received by email should be retained and for how long.

The information covered in these guidelines includes, but is not limited to, information that is either stored or shared via electronic mail or instant messaging technologies.

All employees should familiarize themselves with the email retention topic areas that follow this introduction.

Questions about the proper classification of a specific piece of information should be addressed to your manager. Questions about these guidelines should be addressed to ITS.

2.0 Scope

This email retention policy is secondary to Eckerd College policy on Freedom of Information and Business Record Keeping Any email that contains information in the scope of the Business Record Keeping policy should be treated in that manner. All EckerdCollege email information is categorized into five main classifications with retention guidelines:

Administrative Correspondence (4 years)

Fiscal Correspondence (4 years)

General Correspondence (1 year)

Ephemeral Correspondence (Retain until read, destroy)

Academic per FIRM guidelines: unless paper record exists, grade related materials are kept indefinitely

3.0 Policy

3.1 Administrative Correspondence

EckerdCollege Administrative Correspondence includes, though is not limited to clarification of established company policy, including holidays, time card information, dress code, work place behavior and any legal issues such as intellectual property violations. All email with the information sensitivity label Management Only shall be treated as Administrative Correspondence. To ensure Administrative Correspondence is retained, a mailbox admin@Eckerd <does not exist yet> College has been created, if you copy (cc) this address when you send email, retention will be administered by the IT Department.

3.2 Fiscal Correspondence

Eckerd College Fiscal Correspondence is all information related to revenue and expense for the company. To ensure Fiscal Correspondence is retained, a mailbox fiscal@Eckerd College has been created, if you copy (cc) this address when you send email, retention will be administered by the IT Department.

3.3 General Correspondence

Eckerd College General Correspondence covers information that relates to customer interaction and the operational decisions of the business. The individual employee is responsible for email retention of General Correspondence.

3.4 Ephemeral Correspondence

Eckerd College Ephemeral Correspondence is by far the largest category and includes personal email, requests for recommendations or review, email related to product development, updates and status reports.

3.5 Instant Messenger Correspondence

Eckerd College Instant Messenger General Correspondence may be saved with logging function of Instant Messenger, or copied into a file and saved, and this fact should be made known to participants in instant messenger conversations. Instant Messenger conversations that are Administrative or Fiscal in nature should be copied into an email message and sent to the appropriate email retention address.

3.6 Encrypted Communications

EckerdCollege encrypted communications should be stored in a manner consistent with Eckerd College Information Sensitivity Policy, but in general, information should be stored in a decrypted format.

3.7 Recovering Deleted Email via Backup Media

EckerdCollege maintains backup tapes from the email server and once a quarter a set of tapes is taken out of the rotation and they are moved offsite. No effort will be made to remove email from the offsite backup tapes.

4.0 Enforcement

Any employee found to have violated this policy may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.

5.0 Definitions

Terms and Definitions

Approved Electronic Mail

Includes all mail systems supported by the IT Support Team. These include, but are not necessarily limited to, Netscape Navigator, Mozilla Thunderbird, and Eckerd Webmail. If you have a business need to use other mailers contact the appropriate support organization.

Digitally Signed E-Mails

Using a digital key to sign your E-Mail is a good way to prove the authenticity of the message without encrypting it. This is recommended for all users, but due to the complexity of renewing certificates is not required.

Approved Encrypted email and files

Techniques include the use of DES and PGP. DES encryption is available via many different public domain packages on all platforms. PGP use within EckerdCollege is done via a license. Please contact the appropriate support organization if you require a license.

Approved Instant Messenger

The Jabber Secure IM Client is the only IM that is approved for use on EckerdCollege computers.

Individual Access Controls

Individual Access Controls are methods of electronically protecting files from being accessed by people other than those specifically designated by the owner. On UNIX machines, this is accomplished by careful use of the chmod command (use man chmod to find out more about it). On Mac’s and PC's, this includes using passwords on screensavers, such as Disklock.

Insecure Internet Links

Insecure Internet Links are all network links that originate from a locale or travel over lines that are not totally under the control of EckerdCollege.


Secure Eckerd College Sensitive information in accordance with the Acceptable Encryption Policy. International issues regarding encryption are complex. Follow corporate guidelines on export controls on cryptography, and consult your manager and/or corporate legal services for further guidance.

6.0 Revision History

Original draft: 04/12/2005

Revision WRM 06/20/05

Get ITS Help

You can now request ITS help online by using the Eckerd College ITS ticket system. Request help here.

Event Tech Support Request Form

Google Apps for Edu


Eckerd uses Google Apps for Education (GAE)! GAE is a hosted suite of applications including communication (Gmail, Google Talk, Google Calendar) and collaboration (Google Docs, Google Video, Google Sites) tools. Learn more | Google Apps Status Dashboard

Microsoft IT Academy

Eckerd provides self-paced instruction through Microsoft IT Academy. Contact John Duff to request an access code for your course. Access Microsoft IT Academy here.