ITU Establishes New Requirement for E-Mail

Posted: April 17, 2006 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

In an ongoing effort to make computing at Mason safer and more secure, the Information Technology Unit (ITU) is implementing a new requirement for e-mail.

Though e-mail is one of the most popular communications tools on the Internet, it is one of the least secure. Unsecured e-mail is sent over the Internet in plain text. In such form, the username and password used to log on to the e-mail server can be stolen and used by computer hackers, posing a personal security risk as well as a risk for the university.

Beginning June 1, Mason faculty, staff and students will not be able to access their “” e-mail account if their e-mail program does not use encryption technology. Encryption technology transforms plain text into an unreadable format. Any hackers who stumble across this coded text on the network will not be able to understand it.

If you use the web-based Messenger Express to access your e-mail, then you are already using encryption technology and will be able to continue using your e-mail without interruption. If you use another e-mail program (such as Outlook, Eudora or Thunderbird), you may need to make some minor adjustments to the program to activate its encryption technology.

To help you make these changes, the ITU Support Center has put together easy-to-follow instructions. Please visit for more information. In addition, staff at the Support Center will be available to help you with the process.

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