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E-mail rules in brief

Every e-mail user has one or more roles

– There are slightly different rules, for example, for staff members and students.
All rules must be obeyed
– Use different passwords in the university services and in external services
– apply thorough consideration before using the university e-mail address for private purposes
(see Rules of IT Service Use)
– if you mistakenly receive e-mail intended for someone else, forward the message to the correct recipient, and inform the sender of the mistake
– remember that the privacy of correspondence also applies to e-mail
– make sure you have enough free space in your mailbox
– don't distribute spam
– don't leave any private messages in the university mailbox when your user rights expire.

Staff members

– Always use the university e-mail address for work-related correspondence
– send confirmations to e-service messages without any delay
– don't reroute work-related e-mail to external e-mail accounts
– keep your private and work-related
messages separated, also the sent ones
– comply with the archive creation plan
– make sure your e-mail is monitored during your absence
– if you use an out-of-office message, instruct recipients to use the organisation address
– only use e-mail encryption methods approved by the University
– if you are about to leave the University's employ, transfer all e-mail messages that are relevant for the organisation to the responsible users before your user rights expire. 


– Use the university e-mail account for study- related purposes
– you can forbid the University from publishing your e-mail address
– all messages sent and received in the role of a student are private
– if you have an employment contract with
the University, you are also bound by the staff members' rules; moreover, you must keep your work- and study-related e-mail clearly separated. 

Mailing list owner

– Keep the list up to date (correct, valid addresses, brisk moderation)
– request the deletion of your list when it is no longer in use.


– Make sure that all relevant organisation addresses are available
– make sure that the organisation addresses are used in your unit's communications
– appoint users responsible (with deputies) for monitoring the organisation addresses.

Organisation address owner

– Establish procedures for message handling, back-up and informing other handlers
– change the password of the organisation e-mail account regularly, and always after an e-mail handler (who knows the password) leaves the organisation.

E-mail rules

These e-mail rules concern all users of the university's e-mail systems. The parts aimed at university staff members concern all of the University's units, their employees and other users in corresponding positions (such as scholarship-funded researchers and emeritus/emerita professors). The rules also concern all users responsible for e-mail systems.
The e-mail rules comply with the currently valid laws and regulations.
The sender is responsible for making sure that the message delivery has been successful. Particularly crucial messages should be sent well before the deadline, and the recipient should be asked to confirm receipt.

Privacy of correspondence also applies to e-mail

If a user receives an e-mail message intended for another person, the unintended recipient is obligated to maintain the secrecy of the message and refrain from utilising its contents or the knowledge of its existence.
– According to the Administrative Procedure Act (434/2003), Section 21, a document delivered by mistake and dealing with administrative matters beyond the recipient's competence shall be transferred to the authority deemed to be competent, and the sender of the document shall be informed about the transfer; if such a transfer is not possible, the message shall be returned to the sender and deleted from the university's e-mail system
– all other received messages intended for another user must be returned to the sender.
The forwarding and returning obligation does not concern messages containing malware or spam. 

E-mail addresses

The organisation address is an official e-mail address

The organisation address is used for official matters and service provision.
The organisation address is formed according to a certain formula, for example:
– university-level: office@university.fi
– unit-level: unit@university.fi
– role-level: rector@university.fi

The work e-mail is a personal e-mail account provided for work-related use

Example: john.smith@university.fi
Work e-mail messages are related to both the work e-mail account and the user's job.
As default, the University considers e-mail messages received to the work e-mail account to be private messages.
In outgoing e-mail messages, the organisation address or the work e-mail address formed from the user's name must be given as the sender's address.

The study e-mail is a personal e-mail account provided by the University for its students

Example: john.smith@students.university.fi
The study e-mail account is primarily intended for study-related use.
The University considers students' e-mail messages to be private messages.
(The sender's address in outgoing e-mail messages is the study e-mail address formed from the student's name.)
The student can forbid the publishing of his/her e-mail address outside the University.

Every e-mail service user is personally responsible for keeping his/her mailboxes clean and ensuring that the reserved space does not run out.

The University determines the e-mail addresses and their format

Various domain-based addresses related to certain roles can be used, for example:
– organisation addresses could be of the format service@university.fi
– staff members' addresses could be of the format john.smith@staff.university.fi
– students' addresses could be of the format brian.virta@students.university.fi

Staff (and student) e-mail addresses are formed from the user's name

If another user with exactly the same name joins the University, the original user's e-mail address
(changes / may be changed). The namesake users are informed of the situation. 

Use of e-mail and e-mail addresses

– the name-based address must be used as the personal e-mail address
– the organisation addresses are used in the university's communications
– the organisation address or work e-mail address must be used in work-related matters.
The handling and archiving of e-mail messages received to the organisation or work e-mail account are governed by the Act on the Openness of Government Activities and the university's archive creation plan.
– It is forbidden to transfer or automatically route e-mail messages from the organisation or work account outside the University; this is due to reasons related to information security, data protection and information management; in addition, it may constitute a breach of the Personal Data Act .
– if a received message contains a confirmation request or is part of an e-service(*, the message handler must send the confirmation immediately
– only e-service systems are allowed to use automatic receipt confirmations.

Organisation addresses have owners

The owner must make sure that messages received in the organisation address are handled on a regular basis and according to the archive creation plan, even when the owner is absent.
– E-mail messages received in the organisation account belong to the employer
– the address owner must respond to any received messages immediately
– the response must indicate that it is a reply to a message sent to an organisation address
– organisation addresses must not be used for personal communications. 

Messages related to work e-mail accounts are treated as private messages

– The University can retrieve and open an employee's e-mail messages in certain cases and certain ways as defined in separate guidelines
– work-related e-mail messages sent by employees must, when applicable, clearly indicate whether they are official statements related to work or the employee's personal opinions
– when responding to applications or other such matters related to public administration, the response message's reply address must be an organisation address
+ instead of changing the reply address, the sender can be advised to use the organisation address in the future
+ the original message and the response are transferred to the organisation address for archiving.
The e-mail account provided by the University can be used for private purposes within the limitations set forth in the university's Rules of IT Service Use.
– Employees must clearly separate their personal and work-related e-mail messages, both those received and sent
– if a user is both a student and a staff member, the e-mail messages related to each role must be clearly separated from each other. 

External e-mail accounts must not be used for university-related tasks

Access to external e-mail services from the university network can be technically restricted, if such services are deemed to form a major data security risk.

Use personal auto replies with caution

Auto replies entail a risk of spam flow, but if one is nevertheless deemed necessary, it should advise the recipient to contact the relevant organisation address.

E-mail must be monitored even during absence

One option is to close the mailbox (for example, during long leaves of absence). The recommended
practice is to instruct clients to use the respective organisation address for all contacts.

(* Here, the term 'e-services' refers to the electronic registration, completion and processing (incl. resolution) of administrative matters, informing about decisions, or sending a trial document in electronic format to a public court or to a person authorised by such an instance.

The e-mail account is fixed-term

Personal messages should not be left in the university mailbox when the usage right expires.
Employees must agree with their supervisor on the transfer of work-related messages to another user within the university organisation. If an employee resigns from his/her duties before the expiry of the employment contract, the employee, or his/her supervisor, can request the discontinuation of incoming e-mail immediately.

E-mail messages can be encrypted

All applications used for encrypting organisation- and work-related e-mail messages must be approved and implemented by the University.
– If a received organisation- or work-related e-mail message is encrypted so that only the recipient can decrypt it, the message must be decrypted immediately after receipt; this rule does not apply to messages containing malware or spam
– after decrypting, the message can be encrypted again so that all handlers can open it.
In terms of information security, non-encrypted e-mail can be compared to a postcard.

Mailing lists have owners

The owner must keep the list moderated, regularly check that it is up-to-date and remove any redundant addresses from the list.
– The list owner is responsible for maintaining and removing joint mailing lists.
– Personal mailing lists are each user's own responsibility.
A mailing list forms a person register and, hence, it may be subject to confidentiality obligations and separate limitations of disclosure. If such rules apply, use the blind carbon copy (bcc) function in order to keep the list's addresses hidden from recipients.

Mass mailing and sending/forwarding chain letters is forbidden

Exceptions to this rule can be made upon separate decisions.

Service provision and administration

System administration can intervene in e-mail traffic
in order to secure the service level or safety of the e-mail system. Such interventions, as well as e- mail usage monitoring and log-keeping, are governed by separate instructions.

E-mail is checked and filtered

All e-mail traffic goes through an automatic content analysis, based on which
– messages and attachments containing malware are automatically deleted
– the delivery of harmful, oversized or numerous attachments can be restricted. In addition, filtering and deletion without notification can be applied to messages
– sent from known spam servers
– classified as spam based on the automatic content analysis.

The e-mail address no longer works

when the usage authorisation has expired. Messages sent to a user whose e-mail account is no longer valid will not be delivered; instead, an automatic message is sent to inform the sender about the expiry of the address. When an e-mail account expires, all its re-routing arrangements also become invalid.

Other clauses


These e-mail rules become effective 1.1.2014 and replace the earlier version of corresponding rules.

Change management

These rules will be reviewed when needed to ensure that they comply with all valid services and laws. Any significant personnel-related changes are addressed according to the co-operation procedure. The CIO (Chief Information Officer of Lapland UAS) makes decisions concerning change needs.
Information about changes is distributed using the regular communication channels, never personally.

Deviations from the e-mail rules

Permission for exceptions from the e-mail rules can be granted for compelling reasons upon a written application. Exceptional permits are granted by CIO. The permits may include additional terms and conditions, restrictions and responsibilities.


Compliance with the e-mail rules is overseen by the CIO and Information Management Steering
Group of Lapland UAS.

Further information

Documents and guidelines referred or connected to these rules:
– Consequences of IT Service Abuse
– Archive creation plan
– Administrative Procedure Act
– Act on the Openness of Government Activities
– Guidelines of opening employees' e-mail
– Guidelines of system administration's intervention in e-mail traffic, e-mail usage monitoring and log-keeping
– etc.