Lifetime Email FAQ

What is the Duke Alumni Email Forwarding Service Level?

The Duke Alumni Association (DAA) offers a lifetime email forwarding address to Duke alumni who have an email forwarding location.

As this is only a forwarding service, very little filtering of spam takes place. Occasionally, this has caused ISPs to block the @alumni.duke.edu domain. In the extreme, ISP blocking may cause a delivery backlog and/or delay. The DAA will take steps to remove blacklists placed on the email forwarding server by independent ISPs as we become aware of them, but assumes no responsibility for these acts or results thereof.

Also, users must set their spam filters accordingly in order to minimize spam.

What is email forwarding?

Email forwarding is a service offered to Duke alumni. You are able to choose a unique email alias with the alumni.duke.edu domain. Messages are forwarded to your destination email address of choice.

How is email forwarding different from regular email?

Email forwarding simply forwards email, unlike your current email, which is an actual email account. The main difference between email forwarding and your email account is that email forwarding does not come with storage space for email. Email forwarding works with your email account by forwarding email sent to your @alumni.duke.edu address to the email account that you have specified as your forwarding address.

Can I use email forwarding without an email account?

No. There must be a location that email can be forwarded to.

How do I create an email forwarding account?

Feel free to set up an account using our webform.

Where should I forward my email to?

You should have your emails forwarded to your current email account, or you should create an account. There are many free email providers on the Web.

How do I change my email forwarding destination email address?

You can change the location of where your email is forwarded via the Duke Alumni Association Online Directory.

Should I forward my alumni.duke.edu to my duke.edu account?

If you are a student alumnus (grad of professional school), you should NOT forward your emails to a duke.edu account. Your duke.edu account is temporary. Alumni.duke.edu emails should be forwarded to a more permanent email address. If you are a staff alumnus with a duke.edu account, you CAN forward email to your duke.edu account; however, you are encouraged to use a different ISP as your forwarded location.

Should I forward my alumni.duke.edu to another email forwarding address?

No. You should avoid forwarding emails to another email forwarding service.

Can Duke alumni email forwarding send email to multiple email addresses?

No. For each alumni.duke.edu account, emails can only be forwarded to one unique email account

Does email forwarding delay email?

No, email forwarding does not delay email. However, email may be delayed slightly if the email forwarding server has trouble contacting the server to which email should be forwarded at your ISP (Internet Service Provider).

If your email is delayed for an extended period of time, you should contact both the Duke Alumni Association and your ISP.

Please also be mindful of the Duke Alumni Email Forwarding Service Level policy.

Does email forwarding store my messages?

No. This is just a forwarding system.

Should I rely on email forwarding for sensitive emails?

If you have sensitive emails, you should be mindful of how such messages are sent. Such messages should be sent directly to the recipient.

Does email forwarding work with email attachments?

Yes, email forwarding works with email attachments. Please be aware that certain email attachments may be rejected from your email forwarding location.

What is a Spam Filter Allow List?

Within your ISP message forwarded account, you should compile a list of contacts or an "allow" list. Your spam filter will filter messages so that only messages from users on your allow list will enter your inbox.

What is a Spam Filter Deny List?

A deny list is the opposite of an allow list. All email from an address on the deny list will be rejected, regardless of whether the email message would have been identified as spam. You can also set your filters to deny certain email domains and IP addresses.

How do I prevent the spam filter from blocking legitimate email?

Sometimes legitimate messages can inadvertently be flagged as spam.

If you experience a problem with false positives, we recommend that you try adding the sender to your "allow list."

What is blacklisting?

Every once in a while, ISPs will mistaken the email forwarding tool for spam and blacklist the Duke alumni email forwarding IP address. This means that any messages sent to the ISP from the Duke IP will be rejected. The sender of a message that's blocked will receive a bounce receipt stating that recipient did not receive the intended message. The Duke Alumni Association monitors blacklists; however, if you receive a blacklist bounce receipt, please contact your ISP and the Duke Alumni Association.

What is spam?

Unsolicited email earned the name "spam" because it resembled a Monty Python skit where a chorus of Vikings drowned out other sounds by singing "spam, spam, spam." *

Early digital marketing pioneers contend that spam is actually an acronym for Simultaneously Posted Advertising Message. The first spam email may have been sent in 1978 by a Digital Equipment Corporation salesperson to announce a product presentation. Source: The New York Times, February 9, 2003. **
* Internal Yahoo! data based on 28,000 Yahoo! Mail survey respondents, August 2003

** Harris Interactive Survey, September 2003 (source http://antispam.yahoo.com/funfacts)

How did spammers get my email address?

It is difficult to know exactly how people who send unsolicited email collect addresses. There are many different techniques. Popular methods include: harvesting addresses from chat rooms, blogs, and Web pages. Many companies and individuals who spam use "bots,"automated programs that look through various kinds of Web traffic to harvest email addresses. Unfortunately, if your email address is listed publicly on a Web page, it is very easy for the spammers to get it. There are simple javascripts available to hide email addresses that need to be posted online.

Spammers also get addresses by via "Dictionary Attacks," mailing to common names or common words used in email addresses, for example, duke12345@universitydomain.edu or "accounting@company.com." They may also keep databases by known domain names (like "duke.edu") constantly probing that domain for real email addresses. You can tell that you've received a Dictionary Attack email because you will be cc'ed with email address names similar to your own.

For more information on common spam tricks, please visit: http://antispam.yahoo.com/tips#t1

Can email be filtered for spam?

Yes. All major ISPs have spam-filtering options. You should constantly update you spam filters accordingly.

How do I determine who is spamming me?

Spammers are becoming increasingly sophisticated and corrupt in their emailing techniques. Typically, the "to" and "from" information will be forged. Even the IP (Internet Protocol) addresses are faked. These techniques make it virtually impossible to determine where the offending spam originated.

But what if the spam appears to come from a fellow alumnus?

Email from the address may be forged. As such, you are encouraged to be mindful of the subject of messages you receive.

Is it a good idea to "unsubscribe" or "reply to remove"?

In the case of bulk or unsolicited commercial email, it may be a bad idea to respond to the email at all. Asking to be removed from a list lets the spammer know your email address is a legitimate one and may, in fact, add you to a database.

You should not even open suspected spam mail. You should report the message as spam, if such a feature exists within your email tool, and delete it.

Where can I go for more information about spam?

How do I use my @alumni.duke.edu address as an alias in Yahoo?

  1. Sign into Yahoo
  2. Click on OPTIONS in the upper-right corner of the page and select MAIL OPTIONS.
  3. Go to MAIL ACCOUNTS on the left-hand side.
  4. Click the + ADD button. 
  5. Create an account name such as "Duke Alumni Email" and then put in your @alumni.duke.edu address
  6. In the next pop up window click the SKIP THIS, SETUP TO SEND ONLY button.
  7. You will get a confirmation email in the mailbox of which your alumni email is set to forward to. Follow the verification link within your email.
  8. Hit the CONTINUE button.
  9. Select the account from which you wish to receive emails from Yahoo.
  10. When you compose an email, you will have a drop down menu above the TO field where you can select your FROM email address.
  11. Test the email by sending it to a different email account such as Gmail. If you don’t have another account to use, send it to a friend. This is to insure that it shows the @alumni.duke.edu alias. You cannot test from the same account that your lifetime email forwards to as it will be seen as spam.