ToC1. Know thyself

Get to know your email program or web email service. It sounds odd, but a surprisingly large number of users don't know what they can do with email, and consequently spend (waste?) a lot of time doing things the hard way instead of the easy way. Many users have only ever seen one way of getting at email, and have therefore never seen some of the alternatives.

Up to start of section1.1. How it works

  1. Incoming UCC email is filtered for spam using Cloud App Security by Trend Micro (as of 2017-01-01).

    The Exchange Online Protection (EOP) system will continue to be used as well, but quarantined emails will now be put into your Junk folder for inspection

  2. Staff email is stored in Microsoft's Office 365 (O365) cloud service, and is no longer stored on campus

  3. Student email uses Gmail's Umail service. See the note about maintaining an active student account.

  4. Outgoing UCC email is sent through Microsoft's O365 (Office 365) service, using UCC's mail servers for routing. Only email from UCC addresses can be sent this way. If you need to use a non-UCC account from on-campus, you must make ylour own arrangements for SMTP service.

You use an email program (‘client’) or web browser on your computer to read and send your messages. Which one you use depends on the type of computer system you have: there is usually a choice.

Up to start of section1.2. What email program am I using?

If you haven't already done so, find out what program your computer provides for email. There are two ways to do your email: a mail program (called a ‘client’) or a web browser. The features and facilities vary, sometimes quite a lot. ‘Native’ Outlook-type clients use the Messaging Application Programming Interface (MAPI) protocol to communicate with Exchange/O365; other systems use the Interactive Mail Access Protocol (IMAP).

Outlook Client

The standard UCC desktop/laptop image of Microsoft Windows includes the Outlook desktop client, which is still the conventional interface to email inside UCC.

Office for Mac

Apple Mac users can install Microsoft Office for Mac, which includes an Outlook client.


Thunderbird with the ExQuilla plugin works as an Outlook-type mail client.

All desktop/laptop systems

There is a new mail client specifically for Microsoft Exchange/O365 email called Hiri.


Alternatively, any IMAP (Interactive Mail Access Protocol) mail client (like Thunderbird, but there are dozens, mostly free and open source) on any platform can be used to read UCC email, but you will need to arrange for your own SMTP service to send mail (your ISP may be able to provide this).


Microsoft's OWA (Outlook Web Access) for O365 can be used from any modern web browser on any system.


All student email is hosted by Google's Gmail on so it can be accessed from any modern web browser on any system.


Any IMAP client can use Umail. Configuration in Thunderbird is automatic; for other clients see Google's pages about configuration at

Cellphone/Tablet users anywhere (Android and iPhone)

Client apps are available which support both Exchange/O365 access and IMAP methods.

Up to start of section1.3. What's my address?

All staff and students get a UCC email address.


addresses are in the form (some departments may use the form but this is deprecated)


addresses are in the form (postgraduates previously using can continue this address but the email will still be on the server hosted by Gmail).

It is vitally important for you to use only your UCC e-mail addresses when communicating professionally about your work. If you send a message from a private (non-academic) address, it is unlikely to get a response, as the sender could be anyone and has no verification of authenticity as a student or member of staff.

Official communications from UCC will only be sent to your UCC address, so you must read your UCC email otherwise you will miss them.

Up to start of subsection1.3.1. Aliases

It is possible to create an alias for your UCC email name, to avoid ambiguity or make it easier for others to remember. Only the name before the @ sign in your address can be aliased: the part after the @ sign is fixed.


Contact the HelpDesk (call ×2010 or email


Log in to your UCC Gmail account as normal and check your current alias (if any) by clicking on SettingsAccounts and clicking Edit Info. In the pop-up window you can set an alternative Reply-To address which other people can use as an alias to email you.

An aliased address can be used in place of your standard UCC address on incoming and outgoing email, but you must still use your original email name when logging in.

Up to start of subsection1.3.2. E-mail forwarding

Students can set their UCC Gmail to automatically forward everything to another address off-campus, so that you know when things arrive in your UCC mailbox even if you more frequently use the other email system.

Log in to your UCC email account, click on SettingsForwarding and click Add a forwarding address. This forwarding address can be set and reset whenever you wish to use it.

Up to start of section1.4. Student email services

Up to start of subsection1.4.1. Maintaining an active Student account

There are currently two 100-day rules in place for Student email accounts

Hundred-Day-Rule 1

A student email account which has not been logged-into for more than 100 days becomes locked-out of receiving further incoming email. A subsequent logon causes everything to revert to normal. Students must check email at least every 100 days (and preferably much more regularly); this is the primary route by which UCC can communicate with you about a whole range of issues, formal and of interest, about events, talks, changes in regulations etc. While certainly the mailbox will accumulate quite a few messages that are of no interest to you, the risk of not seeing something important through ignoring everything as a result is simply foolish and could certainly lead you to miss out on important information. This rule is in place because leaving abandoned email accounts accumulating email indefinitely is pointless.

Hundred-Day-Rule 2

An email message in the INBOX folder of a student email account is automatically deleted after it has been there for more than 100 days. This rule applies only to the INBOX folder. Hence, students are expected to move email messages that they deem to be ‘important’ from their INBOX folder to some other folder. Creating a new folder is simple—just click on Manage Folders and take it from there. This rule is in place because unfortunately much of the email that people receive is unsolicited & unwanted, hence this approach means one less chore for them. The background task of backing up zillions of unwanted files overnight is another consideration!

Up to start of subsection1.4.2. Mailing lists

Clubs, societies, or any other group in UCC can have a mailing list set up: see section 4, ‘Use mailing lists for regular communication’.

Up to start of section1.5. What to do when it goes wrong

With the best will in the world, things occasionally go wrong. When something goes wrong with your email, there are two things to check first: a) has the same thing gone wrong for everyone? or b) is it just your own email? If it's the first, check with friends and colleagues to see if it's been reported, and if not, contact the HelpDesk (call ×567 or email to report it yourself.

If only you are affected, contact the HelpDesk in the same way, but have available enough information to let them find the problem. This means:

‘Full’ headers means the complete set of headers, not the abbreviated To/From/Date/Subject that your mail program normally displays. To show the full headers, use the ViewMessage Source menu item in your mail program. In a web-based mailer, look for a  Change View  button, and select Full Headers or some equivalent.

Up to start of section1.6. What to do when you go wrong

From time to time we all make mistakes. We mistype something, leave out a word, include a word we shouldn’t have, add (or fail to add) an attachment, or even send the message to the wrong person.

If it's an in-house message (within your organisation), and you're using Microsoft Outlook (desktop, not OWA), you can try using Recall, but remember it doesn't work for mail sent outside the organisation, and it only works if the recipient hasn't opened the message yet.

Otherwise, apologise immediately, send a correction, and hope that the recipient is charitable enough to forgive you. If the mistake was trivial or minor and inoffensive, that shouldn't be a problem. If you had accidentally said or included or attached something that gave offence, you need to apologise and withdraw what you had said. Beyond that, if it was grossly offensive or even illegal, it may becomes a matter for your manager or even the lawyers.

ToC2. Handling formats and attachments

Up to start of section2.1. Turn off HTML

There is usually no need to send your message in HTML, which is what poorly-designed mail programs do without telling you. It just advertises the fact that you're unfamiliar with email.

Yes, it makes it look pretty—but it also takes up to 10× the space of normal text mail, which clogs up the network for you and others, and makes your mail harder to read for people without HTML-enabled mailers. Sites with anti-spam software may also classify HTML-only mail as Spam, which means your recipient may never get your message at all.

Turn off HTML attachments now, and don't let anything turn them on again. How? It's different for every mail program: read Gerald Boyd's excellent page which gives detailed instructions for dozens of mail programs.

If you want to send a Web page by email, don't use older versions of Microsoft Internet Explorer: use Firefox or another browser which has a ‘Send Link’ menu item (in the File menu). Old versions of Internet Explorer can only send whole pages, even the images, rather than just the link, which means you will be sending HTML even though you have turned it off!

While you're at it, if you're using any of the older Microsoft Mail programs, turn off ‘Rich Text’ (MS-TNEF) formatting attachments now (here's how). Don't let anything turn this on again, either: it can be even worse than HTML. Ask the Helpdesk if you need help.

Figure 1. Oversized email

Example of an email message taking 24× the space needed because of HTML formatting, snazzy background image, and oversize graphical signature (addresses and filenames blurred to protect the guilty).

Up to start of section2.2. Don't send attachments unless necessary

Attaching pictures and documents is a useful and important feature of email, but it can take up a lot of space. Save it for stuff which is really necessary, especially if you're sending to a list of people. Attaching 400Mb of animation or a Word or PowerPoint file and sending it to 18,000 users isn't fun or clever, it's inconsiderate and rude: some people have to download their mail over expensive or slow connections to read it!

If you really need to attach a file to a message, always use the Attach menu: never just drag and drop an object into a message (see section 2.3, ‘Avoid Drag'n'Drop’ for why).

PDFs are preferable to Word or Powerpoint because they compress images better, but even PDFs can become unmanageably large if you include lots of megapixel images unedited.

Never, ever send Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OpenOffice, PDF, or other binary attachments unless a) it's a document which the recipient will need to edit (not just read); b) you know the recipient has the same version of Word, Excel, Powerpoint, OpenOffice (or whatever) as you do; and c) you are certain you have no viruses, and that your recipient's machine is also clean of them. Remember that many people now simply refuse to accept binary attachments from Windows users because of the risk of viruses, and some spam-checkers and mailing lists reject them out of hand. For normal messages, just use plain text typed straight into your mail program. Never use Word to edit email. If you are really, really unable to say what you want in plain text, use a safer format like RTF, XML, CSV, PDF, etc (even HTML!—a very rare exception to the rule in section 2.1, ‘Turn off HTML’).

If you absolutely, positively need people to see large Word or other files, either zip (compress) them to save space, or upload them to a Web site and send people the link address (URI), not the actual file.

Up to start of section2.3. Avoid Drag'n'Drop

Never use drag-and-drop to insert objects into email messages: always use the Attach menu.

Drag and drop only works between users of Microsoft mail systems (Outlook and Exchange) within the same organisation, because it shares the object between users, storing only one copy. While this is very efficient, it means users who don't share the same Exchange system simply can't see the object, and will just see the line in their message:


which is neither useful, meaningful, nor helpful.

⇛ Users of Microsoft mail programs outside the organisation may see an image, but it will be sent as an attachment, which may be subject to spam filtering. In the worst case, scanned signatures sent as attachments via drag-and-drop will be re-attached to replies and forwardings, resulting in your signature being inadvertently sent back to yourself or sent on to others, which may be a security risk.

ToC3. Trim your signature

An email signature is not a graphical image (scan) of your handwritten signature (see the last paragraph in section 2.3 ‘Avoid Drag'n'Drop’ for why you should never use one of those in email). It's a block of lines underneath (or including) your name at the end of the message, identifying who and where you are, separated from the message by a ‘fence’ of two dashes and a space (see below).

If you're looking for security or authentication, see section 3.3, ‘Security and authentication in email’ below.

The standard signature block length is up to four lines, not including the fence (see RFC1855, §2.1.1).

Up to start of section3.1. Making a signature

Create your signature in your email program. In Outlook, this is in OptionsMailSignatures; in Thunderbird and other standard mailers, it is in Settings.

The signature must start with a ‘fence’, which is a line consisting of exactly two hyphens and one space which goes above the rest of the signature. Example:

AN Other • Department of Ancestry • University College Cork • +353 21 490 3000 • •

The space is shown in red here to just make it visible so you can see where it goes. Normally of course you can't see it, but it needs to be there. The fence is compulsory: without it, the lines will not be recognised as a signature.

Some versions of Windows interfere with what you type, turning two hyphens into a short dash (–), and erasing the space or turning it into a square bullet! If this happens, copy and paste the fence from the example above.

Separate the parts of your address information with a bullet or vertical bar or some other distinct character.

Up to start of section3.2. Disclaimers

Never use those 30-line ‘disclaimers’ full of pseudo-legalese about how the email is intended for the named recipient only, and how your organisation isn't responsible for anything it does.

Not only are they incorrect and useless (your employer is legally responsible for your actions as an employee) but they unnecessarily increase the mail size (see below), and only serve to advertise to the world your office's (and possibly your lawyers') lack of understanding of the Internet. Email does not get misdirected unless one or more of the following has occurred:

You and your organisation have to learn to take responsibility for your own actions: hiding behind legal small-print doesn't impress anyone—it just makes you, your organisation, and your legal advisers look amateurish and unprofessional, and that won't help you on the Internet.

Size: adding 1Kb of disclaimer can have a massively disproportionate effect on bandwidth and storage: for 10,000 daily outgoing emails, it means 10Mb extra bandwidth and 10Mb extra storage in Sent Items per day—in fact more, as most users don't edit their responses as recommended in section 4.4, ‘Reply sensibly’, so every additional response per message adds a further 1Kb to the total.

There is a genuine reason for a warning if your organisation is covered by the provisions of Freedom of Information legislation, under which your email may be subject to discovery. But that isn't a disclaimer: it's a warning: talk to your lawyers.

If you really think you have to disclaim all responsibility for what you wrote, or if your manager or lawyer tells you so, show them this, tell them they are wrong, and use something like:

The UCC Department of Ancestry disclaims responsibility 
for any errors they have made in this message.

If the lawyers insist on large amounts of legal wording, put one copy on the Web site, and put the URI (web address) in your email, for example (like IT Tralee do):

...blah blah end of your email.


If after all that you still feel compelled to add large blocks of text to your messages because Legal or Marketing think it will impress or disculpate people, use the following:

DISCLAIMER: Don't even think about looking at this mail if after you've started reading it you figure that:

  1. It wasn't for you

  2. You're not supposed to be reading it

  3. You don't even know what it says but think it might be something you're not supposed to see

  4. You're planning on running for office someday and are afraid this email trail might come back to haunt you

If you've already looked at it and one of the previous conditions apply then just look away and close it. Forget what it said. Just forget it. Pretend you didn't even see it and in fact, by now you should be asking ‘Saw what? I don't even know what you're talking about!’

In the event that you did read it and can't forget it, call your mother immediately and tell her what you've done. But don't tell her what you've read! Now you've really gone and done it. OK, now you've got to send her an email with these instructions. But not the email you shouldn't have read! Holy cow, are you stupid? Look, maybe it's just better if you didn't have access to email. How about this? Just forget what you saw, turn off the computer and leave it off for a few months. Unless you obsess over this really insignificant confidential disclosure you just read (really, it was nothing, that whole thing about the money and the smuggling and the botched coup was nothing) and are racked by guilt so that you can't quit replaying it over and over and over in your mind, then you should have totally forgotten it by the time you turn your computer back on. Just don't start trying to catch up with your emails when you turn it back on and read this really meaningless message AGAIN. I give up.

Best of all, if you feel compelled to state the obvious, allocate responsibility squarely where it lies:

I take responsibility for everything I wrote in this message: I don't speak for 
the big ol' University, and they don't speak for me. I sent it to your address in 
good faith: if it falls into the wrong hands afterwards, I hold you responsible.

There is (as of 2013) perhaps good reason to remind recipients that nothing any of us writes is private any more: see section 3.3, ‘Security and authentication in email’.

Be aware that this message and all its contents is being captured
for examination by one or more national intelligence services, and
possibly passed to other similar services or re-sold to commercial 
enterprises, so anything you or I write may be used as evidence to
restrict our travel or activities, or to track our behaviour in
the digital marketplace.

Up to start of section3.3. Security and authentication in email

If your email is secret, encrypt it.

If you want your recipient to be certain that it really did come from you, and wasn't faked up, use authentication.

Chalmers University has an excellent guide on how to do this with PGP on a Windows PC using Outlook or Eudora. Equivalent procedures can be applied to other mail programs.

Prentice-Hall have a similar guide to setting up GPG on Linux. Many mail clients (eg Thunderbird) now have built-in links to encryption and signing methods which will install the necessary plugins and prompt you for how to start using them.

ToC4. Use mailing lists for regular communication

If you are mailing a number of people frequently, especially if they want to discuss the topic by replying to all the recipients, use a mailing list. Not the so-called ‘mailing list’ feature of your mail program (which is just a multiple-address mailer with no management features) but a real mailing list run by software such as LISTSERV, mailman, majordomo, etc.

Up to start of section4.1. Creating a list

UCC and HEAnet both have a LISTSERV mailing list server specifically for this kind of application. List servers can archive mail for you, handle subscribing and unsubscribing, detect spam, provide features like daily digests, and they are usually more efficient at mailing multiple recipients. To apply for a UCC mailing list, fill in the form at If your list is for worldwide use, or if you expect to have more than 1,000 users, it would be better to ask HEAnet to host the list. Contact us for more information.

Up to start of section4.2. Joining a list

When you subscribe to a list (or when a list owner subscribes you), you should be sent a reply explaining how to send mail to the list, and how mailing lists work. If not, the details are in the LISTSERV Subscribers' Manual. There are some important things to know:

The email address of the list

LISTSERV list addresses in UCC all end with so all you need to know is the name of the list, which is a 1-word name (often ending in -L to show that it is a list). You can use the LISTSERV web interface to see a list of all the lists in UCC.

Announcement lists and discussion lists

There are two types of list: announcement lists and discussion lists. As the names imply, they have two different functions.

Announcement lists are 1-way: the owners use the list to announce things to the subscribers. You usually can't reply to announcements lists: if you try to do so, your reply will go to the list owner, not to everyone else.

Discussion lists are for discussions, so they are 2-way: anything you send to the list address gets distributed to everyone else on the list, so that everyone can read it. When you reply to such a list message, your reply does to everyone else for discussion.

How to send a message

The normal way to send a message to a list is from your mail program, just like any other email message. It is also possible to send a message through the LISTSERV web interface: you need to log in at to do this (and create yourself a personal password the first time round).

If anything gets stuck…

If your email gets rejected, or doesn't appear to have been sent, you can contact the owner of your list using the form of address, where you replace LISTNAME with the actual name of the list you are having trouble with.

Change of address

One of the most common problems is when you change your email address and forget to tell LISTSERV. Mailing lists do not have crystal balls, so they cannot magically guess that you have changed address: you have to tell LISTSERV.

Send a 1-line email from your old address before you lose access to it to the list address saying CHANGE LISTNAME newaddress, replacing LISTNAME with the actual name of the list, and newaddress with your new email address.

If you can no longer send mail from your old account, contact the list owner (see above) and ask for your address to be changed manually.


Most lists keep monthly archives, so you can always go and look up past postings if you haven't kept a copy. These are all held on the LISTSERV web interface at

Up to start of section4.3. Use the right headers

If you are mailing announcements to a large number of people, put one address (eg your own, so that you get a copy) in the To: header, and all the rest in the BCC: (Blind Carbon Copy) header, so that no-one has to wade through screen after screen of addresses before they get to the text. This also helps preserve security, as no-one will be able to see all the other addresses.

Multiple To: addresses and the CC: (carbon copy) header certainly send copies to additional people, but they can all see each other's addresses, and this can be a problem for security and for viewing the message when there are hundreds of them. The BCC: header sends copies, but each recipient only sees their own address. See the mess the US House Judiciary Committee and Verizon made by failing to use the BCC header.

If you are forwarding an email from someone else, especially if you are forwarding it to a mailing list, be very careful to edit out (remove) any extra addresses from the headers that get reproduced in the body of the message (immediately under where it says ‘Original message’). There may be addresses in there that the original author never intended to go beyond your mailbox. You should always ask the original author for permission before forwarding a message to a mailing list.

Up to start of section4.4. Reply sensibly

It's essential for efficient communication to make sure people understand what you are saying and why you are saying it. Don't forget they can't see you, so all your expression must be in your message!

When you reply to a message, make sure your mail program is set up to quote the message you are replying to. Remember your recipients may not have that message open at the time they read your reply, so you must quote enough context to remind them of what was being discussed.

Figure 2. Incoming mail that you want to reply to

From: Grant Applications List <>
To: Brian Boru <>
Date: Thu Mar 10 11:34:52 GMT 2011
Sender: Erik Red <>
Subject: Using jargon in application forms

Dear All,

I have two applications in draft for funding marine exploration
but neither of them can be completed without significant detail
of the technical side of the planned voyages.

How much detail is an applicant expected to give, and where 
should it go if the agency form doesn't provide space for it?


Click on  Reply  and your mailer should a) quote the text, flagged with the > character (or should TAB-indent it); b) precede it with a line identifying who posted the message and when; and c) leave your cursor underneath the text.

If your mailer does not do this, change the settings so that it does.

Figure 3. Replying to a list message: before you start writing

To: Grant Applications List <>
From: Brian Boru <>
Date: Thu Mar 10 11:51:33 GMT 2011
Subject: Re: Using jargon in application forms

On Thu Mar 10 2011 at 11:34:52 GMT, Erik Red <> wrote:

> Dear All,
> I have two applications in draft for funding marine exploration
> but neither of them can be completed without significant detail
> of the technical side of the planned voyages.
> How much detail is an applicant expected to give, and where 
> should it go if the agency form doesn't provide space for it?
> Regards
> Erik

Now you should edit out all the irrelevant parts, and type the sections of your reply in between the separate parts of the original poster's text.

Figure 4. Replying to a list message: editing the quoted text

To: Grant Applications List <>
From: Brian Boru <>
Date: Thu Mar 10 11:51:33 GMT 2011
Subject: Re: Using jargon in application forms

On Thu Mar 10 2011 at 11:34:52 GMT, Erik Red <> wrote:

> I have two applications in draft for funding marine exploration
> but neither of them can be completed without significant detail
> of the technical side of the planned voyages.

Are these being sent to agencies who regularly fund research in
this field, or are these agencies inexperienced in this?

> How much detail is an applicant expected to give, 

Enough to allow them to make the Right Decision :-) so don't
swamp them, but don't flood them with detail they don't need 
(unless they have asked for it).

> and where 
> should it go if the agency form doesn't provide space for it?

Most forms I have seen allow you to add continuation sheets, but
that only applies to paper forms. If it's a form you fill in and 
then send the Word/OO doc or print-to-PDF and send back, see if
they allow you to add pages. Otherwise see if they will allow an
extra separate attachment.

If it's a web form, or a fill-in PDF that has to be returned as-is,
and there really isn't a space for detail, I guess ask them.


Now it is clear exactly what was asked, and what your reply was.

⇛ Never top-post

Under no circumstances whatsoever should you type a reply above the sender's original text. This is called ‘top-posting’ and is very strongly deprecated as the hallmark of a complete beginner, and someone who does not know how to use email. It is extremely unprofessional, and very discourteous and inconsiderate to your readers.

If your mailer puts your cursor at the top of a reply instead of the bottom, you should reconfigure it, or change to a different mailer. In Thunderbird, for example, in the settings for an account, under Composition and Addressing, you can set ‘Start my reply below the quote’.

Up to start of section4.5. Sending on behalf of someone else

If you are sending a message on behalf of someone else, put their address in the From: header, and your own address in the Sender: header. This makes it possible to distinguish author (From) and submitter (Sender) in mail directories, without having to read the message itself.

Up to start of section4.6. Recalling messages

The Recall function only works for Outlook users on the same Microsoft Exchange server as you, and only for those who have not already read the message. Not everyone uses Outlook and Exchange, so be aware thet not all messages can be recalled.

Trying to recall a message that has been sent outside the Exchange server (eg off-campus, or to users in departments who don't use Exchange) simply doesn't work. All that happens is they get a message saying you tried to recall the message.

Up to start of section4.7. Forwarding messages with all headers intact

When something goes wrong and you get a strange error message back from an address, you may need to send a copy to the HelpDesk or other experts for them to find out what happened. In these cases you must send the message with all the headers intact, including the ones you cannot see. All mail programs have a menu option or procedure to show you the full headers. You must follow this procedure, otherwise no-one will be able to find out what the problem was. Do not just click  Forward .

Thunderbird | Outlook 2010 | Outlook 2007 | Outlook 2003 | Mac OSX Mail ( | Gmail | Hotmail | Yahoo | Outlook Express (Windows Mail) | Outlook Web Access

  1. Select ViewHeadersAll from the menu at top

  2. Navigate to and highlight the message in question

  3. Click the  Forward  button.

  4. Enter the address you want to send the message to into the To: field.

  5. Send the message.

    Once you have successfully forwarded the message with full headers be sure to switch back to normal headers by selecting ViewHeadersNormal.

Outlook 2010
  1. Double-click on the e-mail message to open it in its own window.

  2. From the Message tab, Locate the group called Tags.

  3. Select the arrow in the bottom right hand corner of the group.

  4. A box will appear with the header information on the lower portion.

  5. Copy the headers:

    • Click anywhere in the Internet headers box.

    • Press Ctrl+A

    • Press Ctrl+C

  6. Open a new message composition window:

    • Select New from the menu at the top.

    • Enter the address you want to send the message to into the To: field.

  7. Paste the complete message in the body of the new message.

    • Click your mouse in the body of the message (does not matter where).

    • Press Ctrl+V

  8. Send the message.

Outlook 2007
  1. Double-click on the e-mail message to open it in its own window.

  2. From the Options dialog box

  3. Select the arrow in the bottom right hand corner

  4. Copy the headers:

    • Click anywhere in the Internet headers box.

    • Press Ctrl+A

    • Press Ctrl+C

  5. Open a new message composition window.

    • Select New from the menu at the top.

    • Enter the address you want to send the message to into the To: field.

  6. Paste the complete message in the body of the new message.

    • Click your mouse in the body of the message (does not matter where).

    • Press Ctrl+V

  7. Send the message.

Outlook 2003
  1. Double-click on the e-mail message to open it in its own window.

  2. Click the View menu.

  3. Click on Options…

  4. Copy the headers:

    • Click anywhere in the Internet headers box.

    • Press Ctrl+A

    • Press Ctrl+C

  5. Open a new message composition window.

    • Select New from the menu at the top.

    • Enter the address you want to send the message to into the To: field.

  6. Paste the complete message in the body of the new message.

    • Click your mouse in the body of the message (does not matter where).

    • Press Ctrl+V

  7. Send the message.

Mac OSX Mail (
  1. Select the message you want the full headers for.

  2. In the menu bar click View.

  3. Go down the list and select Message, Long Headers.

  4. Click on the message to highlight it, and then click on the Forward button.

  5. Enter the address you want to send the message to into the To: field.

  6. Send the message.

  1. Open the message you'd like to view headers for.

  2. Click the down arrow next to Reply, at the top-right of the message pane.

  3. Select Show original.

  4. Copy the entire content and paste into a new message

  5. Enter the address you want to send the message to into the To: field.

  6. Send the message.

  1. Highlight the message you'd like to view headers for.

  2. Right-click the message in the message list

  3. Select View message source.

  4. Copy the entire content and paste into a new message

  5. Enter the address you want to send the message to into the To: field.

  6. Send the message.

  1. Highlight the message you'd like to view headers for.

  2. Right-click the message in the message list

  3. Select View Full Headers

  4. Copy the entire content and paste into a new message

  5. Enter the address you want to send the message to into the To: field.

  6. Send the message.

Outlook Express (Windows Mail)
  1. Highlight the message whose headers you want to forward, by right-clicking the mouse on the message in the folder view window

  2. In the menu that appears, click on Properties

  3. At the top of the current window, choose the Details tab with the left mouse button

  4. Right click with the mouse anywhere in the window now open

  5. In the menu that appears, click on Select All

  6. Right click with the mouse again, as in step 4

  7. In the menu that appears, click on Copy

  8. Click on the  Cancel  button at the bottom of the window

  9. Click on the  Forward  button

  10. Fill in the boxes as with a normal email, addressing the email to the desired recipient

  11. Click at the top of the message body

  12. Click on the Edit menu at the top of the window

  13. In the menu that appears, click on Paste

  14. Put any other text into the message body as usual and then send the message

Outlook Web Access
  1. Double click on email message to open in a new window

  2. Click Message Details which has the icon of a envelope and paper

  3. Highlight all of the contents of Internet Mail Headers box

  4. Right click inside the box and copy the highlighted text and click  Close 

  5. Click  Forward  on that the message you have just copied

  6. In the new message pane, right click in the text box and select paste to insert the full headers

  7. Forward the message to the appropriate email address or addresses

ToC5. Look smart

Up to start of section5.1. CAPITALS

Never type all in CAPITALS. It's the hallmark of the beginner, or the person who has left the CapsLock key pressed. On the Internet, all-caps messages are regarded as the equivalent of SHOUTING, and considered very rude.

Because many Spam messages have subjects typed all in capitals, some spam filters automatically trash them, so some people won't see your message anyway.

Up to start of section5.2. Answer the question

If someone sends you email asking you a question, it's because they want an answer. Read carefully what they wrote, and answer the question they asked, not some imaginary question which you prefer to answer, but which they didn't ask.

Up to start of section5.3. Don't blather

Use plain language and avoid complex phrasing and long sentences. This is especially important if you do not know the educational level or language competency of your recipients. Steer clear of literary devices like sarcasm, irony, metaphor, oxymoron, etc; and of cultural references which non-native-speakers of your language may not understand.

⇛ Avoid wording belonging to the distant past, unless you're trying deliberately to appear quaint or archaic, especially those quill-pen Victorian business-correspondence phrases beloved of the semi-literate, like ‘please revert’ (if you want someone to reply, say ‘please reply’).

Up to start of section5.4. Out-of-office messages

Most email systems allow you to set an automated message to be sent while you are on holiday or away on business, known as ‘out-of-office’ or ‘vacation’ messages. While these can be useful, they can also be very dangerous:

For these reasons, the UCC email system does not send ‘out-of-office’ messages off-site: they only get sent to internal (UCC) addresses.

Up to start of section5.5. Recalling a message

This is a feature of Microsoft Outlook available only in the desktop edition. It is not available in OWA (Outlook Web Access).

In principle, it lets you recall a message sent locally, so that if the recipient has not yet seen it, it will be removed, and they won't know it was ever sent.

However, it only works in-house: it does not work outside your organisation’s Exchange domain or O365 (Office 365) tenancy, so using it for email that has been sent outside your institution will fail — all that will happen is that your recipient will see both the original message and your attempt to recall it.

The moral of the story is to be more careful about what you write and to whom you send it. But accidents will happen — see section 1.6, ‘What to do when you go wrong’.

ToC6. Alternatives to Microsoft Outlook/OWA/O365

Many people use a corporate-licensed version of Microsoft Outlook in the office, but are unable use it at home or on their laptop because the special Microsoft Exchange networking protocols it requires are not available outside the corporate or institutional firewall, or are blocked by the user's own circumstances.

The Microsoft answer is to use Outlook Web Access (OWA), which lets you use a normal web browser to get at your Exchange email account. More recently, for organisations who have moved their email system into the Microsoft cloud, there is O365 (Office 365), which is a similar, much-improved, but still web-based system.

However, many users dislike web-based interfaces to email because they find the appearance and behaviour of a traditional email program (in technical terms, a ‘mail client’) more powerful, more efficient, and easier to use. Desktop Outlook is an email client, but it’s heavy going and clumsy, and is lacking some key features needed by knowledge-workers. There are basically two other ways to skin this cat using non-Outlook email clients: a) clients or plugins which use the Microsoft Exchange networking protocol; and b) clients which use the IMAP email protocol; (there is actually a third: POP, but we don't cover that here).

Multi-Factor Authentication

To improve security, Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) is being introduced. This adds an extra challenge, usually a code sent to your mobile phone, which you have to type in before you can log in (or even create an account).

Because some email clients don't support MFA (Multi-Factor Authentication), there is a way to get a special pre-authenticated ‘App Password’ from O365 for use with a specific app. Note that you MUST use that App Password with that app each time, not your normal email password. You need a separate App Password for each app you use to read email.

See appendix A, ‘Setting up Multi-Factor Authentication App Passwords’ for details of setting this up.

Up to start of section6.1. Exchange clients

These are programs or plugins or apps which access Microsoft email the same way as Outlook does, internally, although their user interface (appearance) is completely different.

Up to start of subsection6.1.1. Smartphone/Tablet (Android AquaMail)

This is a procedure for setting up IMAP (Interactive Mail Access Protocol) email access to Exchange (Staff) and Gmail (Students) using the built-in Android AquaMail app as an example. Similar procedures apply to other products.

Note that the built-in Android Email app does not support O365.

    Set up an email account in Android AquaMail
  1. Make sure you are connected to the Internet, either through your phone provider's connection or by wireless

  2. Download the AquaMail app from the Play Store

  3. The first time of use, it should ask you for your email address straight away (see step 4 in this procedure below).

    If you have used the app before, pick Add an account from the 3–dot menu, click on Exchange Mail, and then click on the  Next  button

  4. Enter your email address and password and click  Next 

  5. UCC staff

    Set the Server name to, the Security type to SSL (strict check) and the Server port to 443

    Leave the Authentication type set to Choose automatically

  6. UCC students

    Set the Server name to, the Security type to SSL (strict check) and the Server port to 993

    Set the SMTP server to, the Security type to SSL (strict check) and the Server port to 465

  7. Click  Next 

  8. Access to the account will be tested again, and should work this time around. If it fails, check the settings and your Internet connection and try again

  9. Set your name and the name by which you want this account to be labelled, and click  Save 

The account is now set up and ready for use.

Up to start of subsection6.1.2. Hiri

Hiri is an email client exclusively for Microsoft Exchange and O365. It does not use IMAP, SMTP or any other kind of email protocol. Although it is marketed as an email client for managers, it offers some usability advantages over Outlook/OWA-style interfaces. A major advantage is that it runs identically on Wondows, Mac, and Linux.

Download it from or if you use Ubuntu-based GNU/Linux, install it from the Ubuntu Store. At the time of writing, Hiri is free to test for a week, after which it costs €39 a year or €119 for life.

Configuration is automatic: just give your email address and password.

Up to start of subsection6.1.3. ExQuilla

ExQuilla is a plugin (add-on) for Thunderbird which adds Microsoft Exchange compatibility so that you can access your Exchange account direct instead of via IMAP.

Download it through the Thunderbird Add-ons menu or from At the time of writing, ExQuilla is free to test for two months, after which it costs $10 a year.

Configuration is similar to IMAP except that for Exchange you MUST know your organisation’s EWS server address: this is usually something like (ask your system administrator for the exact address).

ExQuilla has one major disadvantage: being scripted, it is slow when working with very large mailboxes or very large folders.

Up to start of section6.2. Normal mail clients using IMAP

Hidden under the layers of Microsoft-ese, Exchange does actually still provide standard email services such as IMAP, if they have been enabled by your system administrators. This means you can get at your Exchange email using a standard desktop email client like Mozilla Thunderbird, Eudora, Claws Mail, or Apple’s, and handheld mail apps like those on Android or iPhone smartphones. IMAP is used because a) it provides SSL encryption for security; and b) by default it does not remove your email from the server when you read it, so when you get back to the office, your email is still there.1

Up to start of subsection6.2.1. Desktop/Laptop (Thunderbird)

This is a procedure for setting up IMAP email access to O365 (Staff) and Gmail (Students) email using Thunderbird as an example. Similar procedures apply to other products.

If you are using UNIX or GNU/Linux system which provides a Thunderbird package in its repositories, use that instead of the steps below, then continue from step 1 in the procedure ‘Set up an email account in Thunderbird using IMAP’ below.

    Download and install Thunderbird if you don't already have it
  1. In your browser, visit

  2. Click on the Download link

  3. Install the program following their instructions

Once the Thunderbird program is installed, double-click its icon (or click on the menu entry) to run it.

    Set up an email account in Thunderbird using IMAP
  1. If you are already using Thunderbird for other mail, click on the menu FileNewExisting mail account

    If this is a newly-installed Thunderbird, it will ask you to create a new account and offer you a new account with Ignore this and select Skip this and use my existing email

  2. Enter your full name and your UCC email address and password where shown. If you are using a laptop, or if your desktop is in an insecure location, uncheck the Remember password box

  3. Click  Continue . Thunderbird will try to guess your server settings, and (in the case of staff addresses) get them wrong (student Umail settings should be correct, see step 5 in this procedure below). Check that IMAP is selected, and click on  Manual config 

  4. For UCC staff (O365):

    See Figure 5 below.

    1. Set the Incoming IMAP server to using port 993 and SSL/TLS security with Normal Password authentication

    2. Set the Outgoing SMTP server to using port 587 and STARTTLS security with Normal Password authentication

    3. Make sure the Username for both Incoming and Outgoing is your email address

    4. Click  Done 

    Figure 5. Setting up IMAP/SMTP for O365

  5. For UCC Students (Umail):

    Student accounts are all managed by Google, using the Umail service.

    1. Make sure your Incoming Username is set to (where nnnnnnnnnn is your Student Number)

    2. Check that the Incoming server name is (Beware: Google may change this from time to time without notice)

    3. The remaining settings should work as detected

    4. Click  Re-test  to see if Thunderbird accepts the values. If it doesn’t, check them again

    5. When the values are accepted, click Done

  6. Click on  Advanced Config  to save the settings so far if you need to edit them manually.

  7. Click  Finish 

The account now exists, but you may need to adjust it:

    Checking the account
  1. Click on the new account name on the left, and click on View settings for this account

  2. In the Account Name box at the top, give the account a name like UCC (this is just a label, so it can be anything you want)

  3. Fill in the Organization (use your department or unit name and UCC or University College Cork)

  4. Click on Composition and Addressing in the left-hand panel

  5. To send mail in plaintext only, uncheck Compose messages in HTML format (Why?)

  6. Click  OK 

    Test the new account
  1. Click on the Get Mail toolbar icon drop-down and select your new account

  2. Give your email password if asked. Choose whether or not to store the password for later re-use (on a laptop or PDA/cellphone or any shared computer, never store passwords if you can avoid it)

  3. It will take a few minutes the first time to retrieve all your folders. It can take up to an hour for extremely large mailboxes or very slow connections. If it seems to be taking a long time, exit Thunderbird and re-start it

Up to start of subsection6.2.2. Desktop/Laptop (Apple Mail [])

This is a procedure for setting up IMAP email access to Exchange (Staff) and Gmail (Students) using Apple's Mail email program ( as an example. Similar procedures apply to other products.

The mailer comes pre-installed on all Macs. Click its ‘postage-stamp’ icon in the dock to run it (or open the Finder and click the icon in the Applications folder, or type email into Spotlight). The first time you use it, it should ask you for the details for your email account (if not, click the File menu and pick Add Account):

    Setting up an email account in Apple
  1. Select: Add Account

    Figure 6. Setting up an account

  2. Enter your full name and your UCC email address in the boxes provided

  3. If your computer is in a secure location, enter your email password in the box provided. If your computer is shared with other people, it's safer to leave this blank so that you can enter it later, each time you use Mail. This way, others will not be able to use your email address or read your mail

  4. Click  Continue . Mail will try to guess the email server, but in the case of UCC addresses it won't find it, so it will ask you to enter it in the next window:

    Figure 7. Account details

  5. Select Exchange IMAP as the Account Type (for Staff accounts) or just IMAP (for Student accounts)

  6. Type UCC Email as the Description

  7. ⇛ Set the Incoming Mail Server to (Staff) or (Students)

  8. For User Name:
    • (Staff) give, where username is your Microsoft Windows Logon Username and domain is the Microsoft Networking (Windows) domain in which your username is registered

      • Your login username may or may not be the same as your email username; it's the username you use to log into the network when you turn on your PC, before you start your email

      • For all users the domain should now be central. If this fails later, contact the Exchange Administrator via the HelpDesk and ask for it to be checked

      If you don't know your username or domain, contact the HelpDesk

    • (Students) give (where nnnnnnnnnn is your Student Number)

  9. Enter your email password in the Password box

  10. For Outlook Web Access Server give (Staff only).

  11. Click  Continue 

  12. If everything was correctly entered, you will be asked to confirm the use of Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encryption using your password for Authentication. Click  Continue 

    Figure 8. Security details

If there were any problems at this stage (for example it says it could not log you in), check and double-check your settings, especially your account username/domain and password.

If successful, you need to set up your outgoing SMTP server. Before doing this, please read

    Configuring the SMTP server
  1. In the Description box, enter the name of your Internet Service Provider (ISP). If you are using Mail when connected to the UCC LAN (wired or wireless), put ‘UCC’ here.

    Figure 9. Outgoing (SMTP) details

  2. UCC staff connected to the campus LAN (wired or wireless) must use one of the on-site SMTP servers, eg

  3. Off-campus, you must use either a) the SMTP server provided by your ISP; or b) the one provided by the network you are connected to (eg in the case of an Internet Café you would need to go and find this out). See [reference to element type "" has not been provided for] for Irish addresses.

  4. If they tell you to use authenticated SMTP, click the Use Authentication box, and give the username and password they have told you to use. Student accounts must use the username (where nnnnnnnnnn is your Student Number)

  5. Click on  Continue 

  6. Some ISPs fail to apply their security certificates correctly to their SMTP service. If you get a pop-up warning about the security certificate, and you trust your ISP not to have been sabotaged, click on Continue

    If you use the UCC server, you can set Authentication to ‘none’ because it will only send email for UCC addresses anyway.

    Figure 10. SMTP security details

  7. If all was successful, and the details are all correct, click in the Take account online box and click  Create 

    Figure 11. Confirmation of the setup

  8. You should be asked again now for your email password. Type it in, and decide for yourself if you want Mail to remember it in your keychain or not

It is very strongly recommended that you set your default font for plaintext messages to Fixed Width. Click on MailPreferences and select the Fonts & Colors tab and make sure the box labelled Use fixed-width font for plain text messages is ticked.

Click on the Inbox to get your mail.

It will take a few minutes the first time to retrieve all your folders. If it seems to be taking a long time, exit Mail and re-start it

Note that the first time you send mail using a non-UCC ISP, it may also ask for your ISP's password for the SMTP server username you set up in the procedure Configuring the SMTP server above. This is usually the same password you use when connecting to your ISP (not relevant for broadband users). As with any password, on a laptop or tablet/cellphone or any shared computer, never store it

  1. The alternative (POP) was insecure (now fixed), but by default it deletes your email from the server once it has downloaded it, so you end up with your email on your laptop or desktop at home, or on your phone or PDA, and not in the office. 

ToC7. Filtering messages

Most desktop email systems let you set up filters for incoming messages to delete them or file them in specific folders. Email systems for mobile devices do not usually have this facility.

Up to start of section7.1. Adding a filter to Thunderbird

  1. Click on the ToolsMessage Filters… menu

  2. Click on  New… 

    Figure 12. Setting up a filter in Thunderbird

  3. Under Filter name type a name for your filter

  4. For a filter based on the Subject header, type the keyword you want to be recognised into the box provided

  5. For finer levels of control you can add more conditions by clicking the  +  button and selecting another type of header and entering an additional value.

    You can also change the applicability from ‘Match all’ to ‘Match any’ in the options above the list of headers and keywords

  6. Under Perform these actions, select whether you want to move the message, delete it, or some other action.

  7. If you select ‘Move Message to’, use the next drop-down to choose the folder you want the message moved to

  8. Click  OK . Make sure the Enabled box is selected for your filter.

  9. Repeat for more filters if needed.

    You can select a filter and use the  Move up  or  Move down  bittons to change the order in which your filters are applied.

    At the bottom of the window, you can select a folder and run the filters manually on it

  10. Close the window when you are finished

Note on required and optional features

In this document, the keywords MUST, MUST NOT, REQUIRED, SHALL, SHALL NOT, SHOULD, SHOULD NOT, RECOMMENDED, MAY, and OPTIONAL have a very specific meaning when shown in THIS TYPESTYLE, and MUST be interpreted as described in RFC 2119 (Bradner, 1997).

When shown in normal type, these words keep their conventional contextual degree of meaning.

ToCA. Setting up Multi-Factor Authentication App Passwords

Follow this procedure to create a special pre-authenticated ‘App Password’ to let you add your email account to an app which does not support MFA (Multi-Factor Authentication).

You will need to use this special password to log back into an account on such an app, when your email account has been given MFA that it didn't have before (locking you out).

Note that you MUST have been registered for MFA before you start this procedure, as it will send a code to your nominated cellphone in order to log you in.

You SHOULD have the setup or preferences for your new or existing email app open in another window where you want to use this app password, as it will be displayed only once and MUST be copied for use, as explained in step 10 in the procedure below.

  1. In your browser, go to and click on your account.

    Figure 13. Selecting your account

  2. If you were already signed in, you MAY be redirected to the Microsoft Office Home page without the need to sign in again.

    Otherwise, on the sign-in page, sign in with your UCC email address and password.

    Figure 14. Logging in

  3. Click on the gearwheel (⚙) Settings button at the top of the page, and then click Office 365 under Your app settings.

    Figure 15. Open  Settings 

  4. From the menu on the left, click on Security & privacy.

    In the middle panel, click on Additional security verification.

    Figure 16. Select Additional security

  5. This reveals a hidden paragraph: click on the link to Update your phone numbers used for account security

    Figure 17. Clicking Update your phone numbers

  6. You will be challenged by the Microsoft security portal and asked to type in the code that will have been sent to your nominated cellphone.

    When the code arrives, type it in and click  Verify 

    Figure 18. Authenticating with MFA code

  7. This brings you to the Additional security verification page.

    To add an App Password, click on the phrase App Passwords (in grey, disguised as part of the title: it is actually a link)

    Figure 19. Picking App Passwords

  8. This takes you to another additional security verification page where you can click on the  create  button to create a new app password.

    Figure 20. Creating an App Password

  9. Click on  create  and give the name of the app you are creating this password for (eg AquaMail, Thunderbird, etc) and click  next 

    Figure 21. Naming your new App Password

  10. Your new app password will be displayed. You can copy it by clicking on the button  copy password to clipboard  so that you can paste it into the window where you are setting up your account in the new app (or re-enabling the account in your existing mail app).

    Figure 22. Your new App Password displayed

    Microsoft will never display this password again, so you only get one shot at copying it. If you mess it up and fail to copy it, you'll have to create another one.

  11. Click  Close  to go back to your list of app password names.

    You can create more app passwords at this stage (go back to step 9 in this procedure above).

  12. Under your name menu (top right-hand corner), click Sign out.

    Figure 23. Signing out

, : Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate Requirement Levels (1997).

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