USO-authenticated SMTP service

In situations where it is necessary for a user to send email via SMTP from a mobile device it will be possible to use the LGfL SMTP server settings in the mail client to enable mail to be sent. Users can authenticate securely with their USO credentials against the SMTP server set up in the core of LGfL specifically for this purpose.

This free service is intended for use by establishments running their own non-Exchange mail server and where users need to be able to send mail from various devices. In such circumstances, it will be possible to configure a mail client with the relevant settings to enable users to send email securely whenever necessary.

The service works on the basis that the “from” address configured in the mail client is the same email address as that registered to the user’s USO account. To enable the service, a Nominated Contact from any LGfL-subscribing establishment needs to raise a support case and request it.

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Important notice regarding changes to email filtering and termination of ECC in LGfL

Following the roll-out of MailProtect 2.0 in LGfL, the existing LGfL filtering system (known as the ECC) is being decommissioned today (23 July 2012), as scheduled and previously announced.

All schools who needed to change their settings to ensure their email service continued without interruption have previously received instructions by email and/or cases on the support site regarding changing their settings to work with MailProtect 2.0 in preparation for the switchover.

From today, schools that have previously used the ECC but have not yet migrated to the MailProtect 2.0 system will be unable to send or receive mail. In such schools users attempting to send an email via the ECC will receive an automated message informing them that the service is not available. Anyone attempting to send mail from outside into the school will receive the same message and emails will not get through.

If you are trying to email someone in a school and receive a message saying that your email has been rejected, please contact the school via alternative means to alert them of the problem.

If your email service has stopped working under the circumstances outlined above please contact the LGfL Support Desk by updating a previously opened case on this topic on the USO support site (or raising a new case if no current case exists).

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MailProtect 2.0 goes live

MailProtect 2.0, from Atomwide, is now in widespread service, offering new functionality, and protecting users in around 2,500 UK schools from email-borne spam, viruses, porn and abuse.

RBC, LA and school staff account holders using Atomwide USO, or LGfL USO, can log into their relevant MailProtect website at:

https://mailprotect.atomwide.com/
or
https://mailprotect.lgfl.org.uk/

…and view a log of scanned messages relating to any of their personal email addresses that are authenticated via USO.  The details of any emails blocked by MailProtect can be examined, and “false positives” can be released (unless they are believed to contain viruses).  In addition, these users can add trusted senders to a personal “allow” list so that future messages are exempt from spam checks, and/or opt to receive daily “spam digest” emails which offer proactive notification about blocked messages.

USO Nominated Contacts with appropriate “mail domain administrator” permissions can use the same web site to release blocked messages on behalf of any of their users, and configure domain or establishment level “allow” lists.

More features are currently under development which we look forward to announcing over the coming weeks.

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LondonMail accounts now available to staff (in LondonMail-enabled schools)

In schools where LondonMail is enabled, members of staff now have access to their own personal LondonMail accounts.

These accounts are designed and configured to make e-mail communications between staff and pupils possible in schools where any or all year groups have SafeMail restrictions placed on pupils’ accounts. If SafeMail rules state that incoming and outgoing emails to external addresses are blocked and internal mail is configured to be received at school level or above, staff members may now use their LondonMail accounts to send and receive e-mails from pupils in the same school under those circumstances.

Staff can log in to their LondonMail accounts by going to www.lgfl.net and clicking on the “log in to LondonMail” link in the top right corner.

LondonMail accounts exist for the specific purpose of enabling e-mail communications between staff and pupils where SafeMail restrictions are in force and cannot be used to communicate with external e-mail addresses.

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USO Mail list services

New for 2011: “USO-Mail List” from Atomwide offers enhancements to LGfL 2.0 StaffMail & LondonMail/SafeMail services now, with other regions to follow.

In response to the emerging need for ever-more sophisticated mailing list functionality in the email services supported by Atomwide, enhancements have now been developed that will initially offer schools in London the following benefits:

1. In Microsoft Exchange-based systems integrated with Unified Sign On, and hence specifically LGfL StaffMail, distribution lists can now appear in the main address book for each school rather than in the Public Folders. This makes them easier to find, and hence much easier to use. When enabled for the school, the mailing list service uses USO profile data to create the most frequently requested distribution lists. These include a list for all students, one for all staff, one for each year group and one for each class group (assuming in all cases that the school is exporting the relevant information from its MIS via USO-AutoUpdate).  In addition, it remains possible for individual users to create a personal, manually-maintained distribution list that still benefits from the other features listed below.

2. The list of users within a distribution group is dynamically updated from the USO database at the time an email is sent. This will help ensure there are no out-of-date addresses in the list and, therefore, few bounced or incorrectly addressed emails. This relies on each school keeping its USO user data up-to-date, which is typically achieved by exporting that data regularly from the school’s MIS into USO using USO-AutoUpdate.  In exceptional circumstances, manual account updates in USO may still be appropriate, and the distribution lists will respond to those updates accordingly.  As already stated, manually-maintained lists will not be updated.

3. Distribution lists containing more than 100 recipients (e.g. year groups) can now be used successfully to send an email to all recipients. This effectively removes the restriction that previously existed whereby only the first 100 recipients could be sent an email, and so particularly benefits LAs and schools using USO with StaffMail, LondonMail, SafeMail and LA SurgeMail systems.

4. To protect the individual recipients’ identities, when a distribution group is selected in the “To” field of an email, all recipients will see just the distribution list name when the email is received. The list cannot be expanded to reveal the names and email addresses of other individual recipients.

5. In order to limit access to distribution lists, those users wishing to send an email to a distribution group must have a profile option called “Distribution list poster” added to their USO account profile. This profile option can be added to a user’s account by a Nominated Contact in the school, or an LA Power or Super User.

Schools wishing to use the service, which is initially released for use by schools using LGfL StaffMail, are invited to raise a support case with the Atomwide LGfL Service Desk to request it to be enabled.

Further developments, including support for other regions’ mail services, and the ability to create custom automated mailing lists from USO data (i.e. subject groups, staff role, etc.), are planned for the future.

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Systems access for pupils after removal from school MIS

You can now allow pupils who have been removed from a school’s MIS to continue, for a specified period of time, to be associated with the school. This gives them continued access to the full range of available services, including email. This provides a temporary grace period for those pupils who would ordinarily become unallocated when they leave a school.

Pupils who are removed from the MIS between 1 June and 30 September of the same year can continue to access their school email accounts and other services until 30 September, should this be necessary. You can decide which year groups to restrict this to and enable it only for schools that need it.

You must be a Power or Super User to access this functionality via the support site. Simply go to User Accounts, Whole school bulk results and select Email grace period configuration from the dropdown menu. Full instructions can be found here.

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Class emails

In the absence of Safemail for pupils we have recommended to primary schools that they create a whole-class email address which the pupils can use under the guidance of the class teacher. It appears that we can’t do this as the service desk have rejected requests.

Until MS incorporate Safemail into Londonmail we cannot sell this to our primary schools and need an interim solution. Can you please suggest how we might do this?

John Schmitz from LA in Barnet

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