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BCTF E-Mail Attachments Policy

Purpose of E-mail Attachments

Attachments allow e-mail users to distribute files of any type to other e-mail users. They provide a convenient and effective way of file sharing, but should be used with discretion.

Attachments should be used as a means of distributing a document that needs to retain file type/format or a working document that is being collaborated on among a small group where FileNet document management or network file sharing are not options.

If you receive an e-mail attachment from an unknown or questionable source, do not open it — delete it from your e-mail. Viruses are often spread via e-mail attachments. If in doubt, contact IT for assistance.

Recipient Issues:

  • Attachments create extra work for the recipient — the process of opening the e-mail message, then opening the attachment (which may or may not be straightforward depending on whether or not a proper file extension is present and file association is established).
  • The recipient is not always able to read the attachment file type.
  • An attachment file size may be large, making it time-consuming or difficult for the recipient to download..
  • When sending attached documents created from templates with letterhead or other colour logos, even a small logo can consume megabytes of disk space.
  • The recipient may simply delete an attachment without reading it.

System Issues:

  • Attachments can take up a lot of room within your mailbox which is stored on the BCTF e-mail server.  Regularly clearing out old e-mails with attachments can help keep your mailbox size within the BCTF’s 500MB limit.

Policies Regarding the Appropriate Use of E-mail Attachments


  • Attachments will not be sent to BCTF electronic mailing lists except upon approval by the list owner. (Contact the Service Desk for list owner information.)
  • Attachments will be limited in distribution to a single user or small group, such as a work group.
  • Short descriptions describing the attachments will be included in the message bodies (otherwise recipients may delete messages fearing they might contain viruses - see above).
  • Short memos will be pasted into an e-mail message, not sent as an attachment.
  • Attachments will not duplicate the same text of the accompanying e-mail messages.

Proper form

  • Ensure the attachment file type is compatible with recipient's hardware/software. If unsure of recipient's hardware/software capabilities save the file in more accessible format. This is especially important now that the BCTF office has upgraded to Office 2007. Many locals and other groups cannot open attachments sent in Word 2007. Send any attachments in PDF or if the attachment needs to be edited on the receiving end send in rich text format (RTF).
  • Use proper extensions in attachment file names to aid in file association for opening purposes.
  • If appropriate, offer to send a file as an attachment upon request by individual users.

Consequences of Inappropriate Use

Users are expected to adhere to BCTF policies. IT will warn users of inappropriate use of attachments with regard to sending to BCTF mailing lists. If warnings are not heeded, IT will notify the employee's director or supervisor.

Please refer to BCTF’s E-mail Policy and Guidelines and BCTF’s E-Mail List Policy for related information.

Updated October 27, 2008

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