Best Practices for Administering Mailboxes

Read and Label Email

Read your email frequently, at least once a week, and daily if possible. If a reply is necessary, reply as soon as possible, if only to acknowledge receipt of the message.

Once you have read and, if necessary, replied to messages in your inbox, you should either delete them or store them in mail labels. Labels can be hierarchical, that is they can contain other labels. So, you can organize stored mail in as complex a filing system as you need. You should go through these saved message labels from time to time and delete those you no longer need.


Mailbox Size

The university mail boxes have a maximum size of 25 GB.


Spam Email

Spam/junk mail is mail that has been sent unsolicited and is not wanted by the recipient. Please help reduce unsolicited email though the following practices:

  • Never pass on junk email messages, including chain email messages
  • Never respond in any way to junk email messages even when the message suggests you reply to remove yourself from the list. Responding will not help to reduce the amount of junk email you receive, and may increase it.
  • Mark and file Spam mail to the spam label.

To learn about a special type of junk mail, called phishing, that tries to steal your accounts and data, view Dealing with Phishing Attempts.


When You're Away

When you are unable to read your mail for a significant length of time (for example if you go on holiday), you should ensure that mail does not build up unnecessarily in your mailbox.

If you subscribe to any mailing lists, suspend or unsubscribe from them unless it is vital that you see all the mail sent to them and there is no archive of the list.

There is an out of office feature (called 'Automatic Vacation Responder') in the university email system that can be set to send an automatic response to messages. It is normally used by people who will not be reading their mail for some time and who want to warn correspondents that they may not get a reply immediately. However, the automatic message text can contain any message. For instructions about setting up the vacation responder, view Google Gmail: Setting an automatic vacation response.


Having Someone Else Read Your Mail

You can allow other people to read your mail in different ways:

  • Mail Delegation:  You can give access to your mailbox to someone else to allow them to read or even fully administer your mailbox for you. This facility can also be used by people who have personal assistants.
    Important:  Do not give away your password. To delegate your maibox to someone else, please follow the instructions for setting up email delegation at view Google Gmail: Setting an automatic vacation response.
  • Shared mailboxes:  Shared mailboxes allow mail sent to non-personal addresses to be processed by a number of people. For example, mail can be sent to the IT Help Desk at itservicedesk@sjsu.edu. Mail sent to this address is delivered to a single mailbox which can be accessed by any of a defined group of people (IT Help Desk staff). For further details, contact your desktop technician. Shared mailboxes are not intended for sharing personal inboxes or other labels.