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UPDATE: The Feb 1 deadline for changes to SFU email forwarding and Maillist has been extended based on new information from Google and Yahoo. Updates related to email forwarding outages, if any, will be posted on the IT Service Outage page.

Important Changes to SFU Email Practices

January 11, 2024

The deadline to change SFU's email forwarding and Maillist protocols, originally set for February 1, has been postponed due to new guidelines from Google and Yahoo.  

During this time, we're:

  • Reviewing the way we forward SFU emails to non-SFU addresses.
  • Finding compliant email list services that serve both SFU and external audiences.
  • Ensuring there's an 'unsubscribe' option in all bulk emails sent to non-SFU addresses.

Stay tuned for more updates on the new deadline.

Additional information shared with students, alumni and retirees:

Students have received similar communication regarding these changes, and they also need to access SFU Mail at mail.sfu.ca using their Computing ID and password to receive important emails.  

As a result of the Google and Yahoo extensions, for the time being, AEF will continue to forward emails as usual.

Retirees can continue to access their email via mail.sfu.ca.

For more details, please refer to the FAQs below:

Email Practice Changes - Frequently Asked Questions

What is happening with SFU’s email practices?

SFU’s current email practices do not comply with Google and Yahoo’s new email guidelines and as a result, SFU will conduct a series of tasks including:

  • Analysis of email forwarding from internal SFU email accounts to external accounts. 

  • Analysis of options for compliant email list services that can send to both internal and external email audiences.  

  • Ensuring that all bulk email sent to external accounts have the unsubscribe option required by the guidelines in place. 

Why are changes to SFU's email practices necessary?

Google and Yahoo will start implementing changes in February 2024 to enhance security and help them combat spam and phishing attacks. Adapting SFU's email practices is crucial as we continue sending emails to Google and Yahoo users, including prospective students.  

This change is necessary for us to comply with new industry standards, enhance email security, and to ensure that our university messaging continues to reach the email inboxes of our various audiences.  

Who is being affected?

  • Faculty, staff, students who are currently forwarding their SFU email to external email accounts. 

  • Alumni using the Alumni Email Forwarding Service.

  • Faculty, staff, students, retirees using SFU Maillist to send email to external email accounts.

When will these changes take effect?

As soon as the analysis is complete, we will try to have solutions in place before the deadlines set out by the external email providers. The “unsubscribe” option will be required for all mass emails by June 1, 2024.

What considerations have been taken into account?

Since the initial announcement by Google and Yahoo, IT Services has been looking at potential alternatives to comply with their new requirements. We are working on potential solutions as a replacement for email forwarding services and SFU Maillist as these industry-wide changes continue to proceed. SFU Maillist will still work as intended in the interim, and emails will continue to be forwarded while IT Services evaluate these alternative solutions. When a solution has been confirmed, this information will be shared with the community.

What risks are associated with these changes?

  • The new email guidelines are still proceeding as expected and IT continues to prepare for the incoming regulations set by major external email providers. Our current usage of SFU Maillist for SFU and non-SFU emails may still pose a risk of non-compliance, potentially leading to disruptions in email delivery or important messages being flagged as spam or phishing attempts.  

  • It is recommended to remind your Maillist recipients to check their spam folder if SFU emails aren’t being received. If you currently use the Alumni Email Forwarding Service, there is still a possibility that you may see interruptions in service due to the external regulations. If an outage or stoppage in email forwarding occurs, this news will be posted on our IT Service Outage page.

I am currently forwarding my email to an external email client. Are there any alternatives?

IT Services is evaluating possible alternatives and as we assess these alternatives, emails will continue to be forwarded to external email clients. When a solution has been confirmed, this information will be shared with the community.  

Alumni

How will these changes affect my ability to continue using the Alumni Email Forwarding service? 

At this time email forwarding and AEF is not recommended and may cause interruptions in service due to the external regulations.

Maillist

As a maillist owner and manager, what do I have to do to prepare for this?

It is recommended to remind your Maillist recipients to check their spam folder if SFU emails aren’t being received. IT Services currently is working on potential solutions as a replacement for SFU Maillist. When a solution has been confirmed, this information will be shared with the community.

Which email addresses can receive my messages sent to an SFU Maillist?

Maillist will continue to send messages to all email addresses. IT Services currently is working on potential solutions as a replacement for SFU Maillist.  When a solution has been confirmed, this information will be shared with the community.

What alternatives are there if I must email external clients?

We are working hard to mitigate the impact of communicating with prospective students, colleagues and clients outside SFU. IT Services is currently assessing alternative solutions like Simplelists, Mailchimp, Google Groups, etc., that may be able to accomplish what Maillist offered. When a solution has been confirmed, this information will be shared with the community.