If You Have Problems Sending or Receiving E-mails


The Need-to-Know Summary:

Make sure (1) your attachments are of an allowable type, (2) attachments are less than ten megabytes in size, and (3) you (or your sender) are using correct e-mail addresses. Ninety-five percent of our e-mail problems are caused by not following one or more of those guidelines.

The Details:

There could be a lot of conditions or problems external to DNR that cause your e-mails sent to outside e-mail addresses not to be received. Those conditions are out of our control.

Also, if you try to send compressed files (those with, for example, a .ZIP or .TAR or .TAR.GZ extension), or executable files (with a .EXE extension), those are usually blocked -- not only by DNR, but almost everyone else in the world because of the security risks.

You may be able to send a ZIP file to someone inside DNR, but it will not go outside. An e-mail with an attached .EXE file definitely will not go outside.

Outlook is also set to block incoming e-mails with .ZIP or .EXE attachments.

Incoming Word documents or Excel files can have macros in them that also contain viruses or Trojans. Our spam/virus filtering will stop those attachments from getting to your In Box.

So, if you want to report problems sending or receiving e-mails, my first question would be: Are you sending e-mails with such prohibited attachments (.ZIP, .EXE,and so on)?

The second question is this: How big are the attachments, if you are sending e-mails with permitted attachments (.DOC, .XLS, .PDF, etc.)?

We have an allowable limit set in Outlook of ten megabytes for attachments. I recently had someone contact me to complain that their e-mails had not gone outside of DNR. I met with them, found out the situation, and let them know there were two reasons: (1) one e-mail had an attachment that was three times our allowable limit, and (2) one e-mail had a ZIP file attached.

The third question is this: Is the e-mail address of the intended recipient correct? Those recipients who are within DNR should receive e-mails OK; the Outlook address book is kept rather current. It is frequently with external addresses where we find problems, or with an erroneous e-mail address someone outside DNR has for one of us.

I once had someone complain about not receiving e-mails from someone at another agency. I called that someone, and the e-mail address he was using was in the format of firstname.lastname@dnr.ga.gov... and there is no @dnr.ga.gov. So that problem was end-user error on the part of someone outside DNR.

I have had instances of people trying to send me e-mails to michEAl.chadwell@dnr.state etc., or to michael.shadwell, or michael.caldwell, or michael.chadwick. You get the idea. Any variation of the proper spelling of my name is just as wrong as if they had sent it to michael.smith, michael.jones, or michael.josczcurowski.

The same applies for sending e-mails to someone outside DNR. Have you carefully checked the addresses?

So, before you contact me or anyone else in DNR IT about a problem with sending or receiving e-mails, please know up front that we will need some specific instances of your e-mails either not delivered or not received, preferably with copies (forwarded as attachments) of what failed to go through.

Then we can investigate.