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IET Email Alias Closure FAQs

More information about why the IET is closing the email alias service.

Why are you closing the email alias service?

We started providing this service back in the mid-1990s at a time when most people only had email addresses tied to their work or phone provider and personal email addresses were limited. Spam and phishing has increased over the years to the extent that now nearly 90% of email traffic is spam. Internet domain owners (such as Gmail, Yahoo etc.) and the domains sending emails have implemented stricter checks to detect fraudsters and block spam and phishing emails from entering inboxes.

Because of these stricter checks, emails sent via forwarding services such as our email alias fail the spam checks, as the checks see the IET as the sender of the email rather than the original sender, resulting in messages being marked as suspicious and blocked from the destination inbox. Unfortunately as we are only the email forwarder we have no influence over the new spam rules set by the email senders, so we have taken the difficult decision to close this service at the end of September 2019. Although the email alias service has been a valuable benefit of membership, we don’t want to offer you an unreliable service so hope you understand our reasons for doing so.

Why can’t you guarantee delivery of my emails?

As the IET is only an intermediary who forwards the email we have no control over the DMARC (domain-based message authentication, reporting and conformance) settings defined by the original sender and email receiver.

When will you be closing the service?

We will continue to run this service up until 30 September 2019 to allow members time to make alternative arrangements. As of 1 October 2019, all emails sent to an alias address will bounce back to the sender with an “undeliverable” message.

Who made the decision to close the email alias service?

After a number of reported problems from members of the service we sent out an email in June 2017 to make all members aware of the unreliability of the service. Since then, we have kept a close eye on the reliability and quality of the service, and on the 27th March the Membership and Professional Development Board took the difficult decision to close the service. We have not taken this decision lightly and want to give members 15 months’ notice to give you time to notify your contacts and redirect your communications.

Are you aware this is an inconvenience for members?

We sincerely regret that it is necessary to close the email alias service. This decision has not been taken lightly and we would like to apologise as we realise this could be a significant inconvenience for members.

What is DMARC and why is it important?

‘Domain-based message authentication, reporting and conformance’ (DMARC) is a method used to authenticate legitimate emails and detect and prevent email spoofing. When an email is sent by our email alias, it looks like the IET is sending it from its server as if it was the original sender of the email so it is almost always failed by the SPF authentication check. This is because the forward message is sent from a new IP address not included in the original senders permitted list of IP addresses in the SPF record. DMARC is important because cyber criminals target individuals, small businesses and large organisations costing organisations and individuals billions of pounds globally each year. 70% of all email fraud is sent from a domain name which doesn’t match the one in the email header, which is why emails from forwarding service like ours often get rejected.

How will I know if my emails have been rejected?

It’s very difficult to know if your emails have been rejected unless you are expecting an email and you do not receive it. If an email has been rejected there is no way to recover it. Your only option would be to speak to the original sender and request for your emails to be sent to an alternative email address.

Want to know more about DMARC?

Visit www.dmarc.org or www.globalcyberalliance.org (GCA)

Are you offering an alternative email service?

We don’t have any plans to offer an alternative email service however if you don’t already have an alternative email address there are plenty of free options available to you, either with your broadband provider or you can set up a free webmail account. If you are looking for a more professional email address for business use many companies sell internet domain names at a moderate cost.

Why don’t you offer a full mailbox service to your members?

After researching alternative options we could not find one that met our internal security requirements and new General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) that we are governed by. It is not within our charitable remit to provide internet services for members’ personal use. We risk being seen as the data controller of the service under new GDPR rules and responsible for all traffic going through the service and could request access to data at any time.

Is Volunteer Office 365 replacing the IET email alias?

No, we are rolling out Office 365 to volunteers in 2018 to be used solely for volunteering activities and not for personal use due to a strict Microsoft licensing agreement.

Can I move my @iee.org or @theiet.org email address to a new email provider?

Unfortunately it is not possible to move your @iee.org or @theiet.org email address to another provider.

What do I need to do now?

You will need to decide on a new email address to use (either one you already have access to or a new one you create) and ensure your email is updated to your new address everywhere you use it. You should notify your friends, family and contacts of your new email address and switch all your online accounts (online banking, social media, online shopping, news, etc.) to your new address. Since “password help” links often require access to the email account held on file, it is important that you make this change before 30 September 2019; otherwise, you may risk losing access to your online accounts.

What else can you recommend?

To notify your contacts of your new email address you could set up automatic replies (an “out of office” message) on your current email address with your new information. For example the message could say something along the lines of “If you reached me at XXXX@theiet.org, please note that my email address has changed to XXXX@XXXX.com. I will not be able to receive emails at XXXX@theiet.org after 30 September 2019.” If you have questions on how to set up automatic replies you can contact your email provider.

I no longer use my email alias account, how can I close it?

Please email ietalias@theiet.org to notify us that you wish to close your email alias account.

I can’t remember the email address I redirect my email alias account to. How do I find out?

Please email ietalias@theiet.org for a reminder of your forwarding email address.

The IEEE is still offering an email alias service so why can’t the IET?

The email delivery problems that the IET email alias service are facing are not unique to the IET but affect all email forwarding services. The IEEE may still be offering their email alias service but the IEEE are aware that forwarding services cause email delivery issues as they state that “Forwarding emails may cause email delivery issues or result in an email being classified as spam and recommend members change their email address to the final destination email address."

Have any more questions?

You can contact ietalias@theiet.org. We will make every effort to respond to your questions as soon as possible.

 

Please see our terms of service for further information.