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Create better Out of Office auto replies in Entourage
Authored by: snuff on Jul 30, '06 12:03:38PM

Having a rule that replies to anyone on the internet opens you up to start getting more spam; the out of office message becomes a verification to the sender that your e-mail address is valid, making it more valuable to the sender.

I like this hint because the idea would work with Mail.app also and gives you some good flexibility, but I don't like the potential of replying to senders that I don't know. In a larger business environment I personally prefer the following steps:

- The Exchange Server admin configures the server to not allow Out Of Office messages outside of the Exchange environment. This allows senders from within the company to receive the Out Of Office, but nobody on the outside.
- Its up to the individual to notify the people outside the company that they will be out. For me, when I recent went on vacation I changed my signature line a week in advance to include the information that I would be out, along with the appropriate alternate contacts while I was gone.

(Disclaimer: I cannot confirm that the feature I mentioned for blocking Out Of Office messages at the Exchange Server is available in Exchange 2003. I used to manage a large Exchange 5.5 environment where it was, but have since left the Exchange world and moved on to SMTP/Anti-spam/Anti-virus.)



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