Email Virus and Spam Policy

Heidelberg University recognizes the potential and significant threats posed by the use of electronic mail ("email"). In addition, we recognize the growing problem of unsolicited commercial email ("spam"). To that end, we have adopted the following policy on our email server ("gmail.heidelberg.edu") to protect our users, their computers and our investment in information technology:

  • All email (incoming & outgoing) will be automatically scanned for viruses, worms, trojan horses and other malware products. Email messages that are found to be infected with a known virus will be deleted without delivery (whether or not the malware was found in the message body itself or in an attachment to the message).
  • Email messages containing attachments whose file types can be exploited to infect client computers will be deleted without delivery. Please note that this set of dangerous attachment types includes executable files (i.e. those files whose name ends in ".EXE" and ".COM").
  • On-campus addresses found to be sending large amounts of viruses or similar threats via email to our server (and thus, to our users) will have their email and/or network access revoked until those machines are disinfected and configured with current anti-virus software. Off-campus addresses sending such material will be denied access to our mail server.
  • Our email gateway automatically discards mail flagged as "very high scoring" spam, as identified by industry-standard anti-spam tools and real-time spam black lists. Other email whose contents match known patterns common to most unsolicited commercial email messages will be automatically flagged with the header {Spam?} added to its subject line. If a user desires, he or she may then use this flag to filter out suspected spam at his or her client. Note that this does not mean that all potential spam will be so flagged: this service is only an aid to identify messages exhibiting some of the more common spamming patterns.
  • Please note that our use of this scanning technology cannot prevent every infection by virus, worm or trojan horse. Your computer must still be equipped with up-to-date anti-virus software with an active virus definition subscription. Our scanning service merely adds an extra layer of protection to keep your computer and other computers safe.