From 18 December 2023, the University will disable the Outlook feature that allows you to automatically forward your University of Essex email to an external account.

It is still possible to manually forward single emails to external accounts.

If you use automatic email forwarding, you need to:

  • delete all bulk forwarded University of Essex emails from other accounts
  • delete any external automatic email forwarding rules (you will receive notification emails each time an email is not forwarded)

A screenshot which reads 'Your email couldn't be forwarded from to another email address. Your message wasn't delivered because the recipient's email provider rejected it'.

Why is automatic email forwarding a concern?

Sending email externally is a significant security risk as it circumvents the protections that prevent University data from being compromised, such as the requirement for strong password rules and multi-factor authentication (MFA).

It is also a significant data handling risk as University data (whether sensitive or confidential) may be unintentionally forwarded.

There are responsibilities on staff and students relating to how we manage, share, and secure personal data, and we cannot achieve this with indiscriminate automatic forwarding to secondary accounts.

While this change may impact a small number of people, it is imperative that the University maintains appropriate control over the data for which it is legally responsible.

General guidance on forwarding email

  • Allowed: manually forward emails to University of Essex and external accounts.
  • Not allowed: automatically forward emails to University of Essex and external accounts.

Exceptional circumstances

Exemptions are permitted where email forwarding is necessary to fulfil certain duties. For example, the automatic forwarding of email to partner institutions and organisations is allowed due to the data processing arrangements that have been agreed.

To request the creation of a rule to automatically forward email to an external email address, please complete this form. Your request will be reviewed by the Data Protection Officer and DITS IT Support who will contact you afterwards.

Further Information

If you have any questions, please contact the University Data Protection Officer.

If you require technical assistance, please contact the IT Helpdesk.