WMU News

More secure e-mail means changes for some users

Aug. 26, 2002

KALAMAZOO -- E-mail users at Western Michigan University will enjoy far greater convenience and security thanks to several hardware and software upgrades completed Aug. 25.

The transition to the new e-mail software will be transparent for most users, including on-campus users of GroupWise. Other current users, however, will need to reconfigure the preferences settings in their e-mail software.

According to Robert L. Johnson, security administrator in the Office of Information Technology, "Anyone using <smtp.wmich.edu> for outgoing messages with software such as Netscape Messenger, Microsoft Outlook and Outlook Express will need to make changes."

"Since the Aug. 25 changes in server software," says Johnson, "users who need to reconfigure their e-mail software will not be able to send messages until they complete the reconfiguration."

All e-mail users should still be able to receive and read messages without making any changes.

"Only outgoing messages are affected and only for some users," says Johnson.

Instructions for making needed changes will be available on the Web at <www.wmich.edu/oit/solutioncenter/how-tos>. Users can also receive help with the change by calling the OIT Solution Center at 269 387-5161.

"The changes needed are relatively simple," says Johnson, "and the benefits for everyone will be considerable."

Among the benefits of the new system software is Secure Socket Layer (SSL) technology, which will ensure that all messages transmitted will be encrypted and cannot be intercepted over a wired or wireless network connection. SSL is the same technology used to secure commercial transactions on the Internet, such as online purchases and banking.

"Another major benefit," says Johnson, "is that a single configuration of your e-mail software can be used anywhere. If you take your laptop home or on a trip, you won't need to change anything to send and receive e-mail, whether you're connecting via a cable modem, DSL, ISDN, modem dial-up, AOL or wireless network."

Media contact: Thom Myers, 269 387-8400, thomas.myers@wmich.edu

Office of University Relations
Western Michigan University
1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5433 USA
269 387-8400