GT Email FAQs

May 22, 2017

What is Email Forwarding for Life (EMFL)?
Email Forwarding for Life (EMFL) is an email delivery service provided by Georgia Tech. This service allows eligible users to have a Georgia Tech email address ( or after they have left Georgia Tech. Users are not given a Georgia Tech inbox nor a mechanism to send or receive email. Instead, the EMFL address is simply an email alias that forwards/delivers email to a valid personal email account maintained by a third-party Internet/Mail Service Provider (ISP).

Who is eligible for EMFL?
Any student who has completed at least one semester and who leaves Georgia Tech on good terms is considered an alum and is eligible for EMFL.

How is email forwarding different from regular email?
Email forwarding simply forwards email to an already established email account. The main difference between an email forwarding alias and an email account is that the alias does not come with storage space for messages. Email forwarding works with an email account by forwarding messages sent to an alias to the email account specified as the forwarding address.

Can I use EMFL without an email account?
No. There must be a pre-established third party email account where messages can be forwarded.

Does email forwarding delay delivery of email?
Under most circumstances, no. However, messages may be delayed slightly if the Georgia Tech email servers have trouble contacting the third party servers where messages are forwarded.

How many EMFL aliases can I have?
Each subscriber can set up one self-assigned email alias.

If I never use my EMFL alias, will it go away?
Yes. The Alumni Association regularly disables EMFL aliases that are not being used and generate consistent hard bounces (undeliverable returned email) from invalid forwarding addresses.

Can disabled EMFL aliases ever be claimed by someone other than the original owner?
No. Disabled EMFL aliases can never be claimed by anyone other than the original owner to prevent impersonation and identity theft.

Will my EMFL alias be kept private?
EMFL subscribers may periodically receive email communications from the Alumni Association, Georgia Tech, and/or affiliated organizations. The Alumni Association and Georgia Tech will take reasonable steps to protect the privacy of EMFL subscribers, including but not limited to, not making EMFL aliases available to any non-affiliated organization.

What policies govern the EMFL service?
The Georgia Tech Email for Life policy was originally established in 2006, and it addresses eligibility criteria and proper use of EMFL services provided by Georgia Tech, while recognizing that the Terms of Use for the service may change periodically.

I'm a graduating senior or recent graduate. Does EMFL mean I can keep my "My GaTech" email account?
No. Students lose access to the My GaTech/Zimbra/Office 365 service after having been away from Georgia Tech for more than one full semester. Prior to expiration, graduates should download their email from My GaTech via IMAP to a third party email account or desktop email client. It is important to then visit the PASSPORT site and update the forwarding address a third party email account.

I'm a graduating senior or recent graduate. I've been forwarding my campus email to a third party email account since I started attending Georgia Tech. Will that forwarding address continue to work for EMFL?
Yes and no. Students who forward email to two locations (a third party email account as well as their My GaTech account) will need to update the forwarding address by visiting the PASSPORT site. This is because the student's account will expire one full semester after graduation, and will cause hard bounces (undeliverable returned email) to be generated from the alias, even though the third party email account is valid.

How do I establish an EMFL alias?
To establish an EMFL alias or change the email address where an alias forwards, please visit the PASSPORT site:

  1. Log in, and click on the "Email Aliases" link on the left hand side under the "Email" section.
  2. Under the section labeled " alias" click on the button labeled "Edit destination."

How do I change the email address where my EMFL alias forwards?
To establish an EMFL alias or change the email address where an alias forwards, please visit the PASSPORT site:

  1. Log in, and click on the "Email Aliases" link on the left hand side under the "Email" section.
  2. Under the section labeled " alias" click on the button labeled "Edit destination."

Can EMFL forward to multiple email addresses?
No. For each EMFL alias, messages can only be forwarded to one unique forwarding address.

I already have an alias. Can I get an alias instead?
Yes. To establish an EMFL alias or change the email address where an alias forwards, please visit the PASSPORT site:

  1. Log in, and click on the "Email Aliases" link on the left hand side under the "Email" section.  
  2. Under the section labeled " alias" click on the button labeled "Edit destination."

Can I send FROM my EMFL alias through my ISP?

Historically, EMFL users have had the ability to send from their EMFL alias using a third party provider. The result was that recipients would see that that mail was sent from the EMFL user’s personal email account “On Behalf of” the EMFL address. In recent years with increases in spam and phishing activity, this capability has become risky as recipients' ISPs cannot reliably determine if mail was legitimately sent on behalf of or if it is the result of a spammer forging Georgia Tech email addresses.

To curb this spread of spam and phishing mail appearing to come from, the Alumni Association has implemented SPF, DKIM, and DMARC email authentication protocols. This allows the Association to explicitly define legitimate mail servers used to send messages from the domain. The benefit to this industry-standard approach makes it easy for ISPs to identify, process, and deliver legitimate messages and refuse fraudulent email pretending to come from either the Association or Georgia Tech alumni.

The unfortunate side-effect of implementing this technology is that EMFL users are no longer able to reliably send messages from their ISP on behalf of their EMFL address. The Association understands that this change in protocol may be inconvenient for many EMFL users. However, the ability to protect the legitimacy and sending reputation of the domain takes precedence, and the inherent purpose of EMFL is to allow users to keep their campus email address for receiving forwarded email.

While sending mail from an EMFL address is not supported, the forwarding of messages sent to addresses will forever remain active so long as the forwarding address exists and can receive mail. Any EMFL addresses which are published online, listed on resumes, or exist in contact lists or address books will continue to work as intended.

I use Gmail, and received a warning that my EMFL messages aren't secure/encrypted.
For a full explanation of this Gmail feature, please visit the Official Gmail Blog post titled "Making email safer for you" dated February 9, 2016.

Since Google implemented this new feature, we have received a handful of questions from alumni on the topic. (Rightfully so, as this is part of Google's intention here - to point out to its users when others are not using encryption in transit so the community can pressure them into employing TLS). The mail infrastructure for email forwarding is maintained by the Institute. TLS encryption in transit for email messages will be an included suggestion in planning for the next round of infrastructure changes to the campus mail routing architecture.

Is EMFL filtered at the server for spam?

NO. Spam filtering will happen wherever the alias delivers e-mail, if it is enabled at that email location.

What is phishing?
Phishing is the attempt to fraudulently acquire valuable information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details by using email or other communications to impersonate a trustworthy entity. These messages typically pose as if they are from companies of frequently-used and popular services such as Apple, American Express, Intuit, UPS, and US Airways, to name a few.

I received a phishing message. How can the Alumni Association have allowed its EMFL database to be hacked?
In recent years, everyone with an email address has been subjected to spam and phishing attempts, and EMFL subscribers are no exception. Given that Georgia Tech is a leading technology Institution, it is a large target for frequent phishing attempts. All EMFL aliases are part of the Institute domain space and will unfortunately have large amounts of spam being delivered.

While common security principles dictate that no system is ever 100% secure, the fact that alumni are receiving phishing messages does not imply that the Association's databases or email systems have been compromised.

It is difficult to know exactly how spammers collect addresses because there are many different techniques. Popular methods include using bots (automated programs to look through various kinds of Internet traffic and harvest email addresses), and dictionary attacks (systematically sending email messages to common names or words used in email addresses).

How can I identify a phishing message?
Common phishing methods include:

  • Forged email addresses – Don't reply to unsolicited email and don't open email attachments. It is easy for spammers to create fake email headers, so never assume an email is real by looking at the addresses. One might be able to spot fake addresses by checking for misspellings, but this method isn't foolproof.
  • Fake hyperlinks – When in doubt, never click on a link in an unsolicited or suspicious email message. Scam email messages can contain hidden links to fraudulent websites asking you to enter your login and account information. If an email threatens you with account closure if you don't log on soon, you could be the target of a phishing attack. You may be able to tell if a link is real by hovering your mouse cursor over it and looking at the bottom of your browser to see the hidden URL — it will look different than the one you see on the surface.
  • Fraudulent websites – Phony websites mimic real sites by copying company logos, images, and site designs. Malicious webmasters can also use HTML, Flash, or Javascript to mask or change a browser address. If you must visit a financial or banking site, type its known address into the URL bar manually and use an updated browser with anti-phishing plug-ins or extensions that can warn you about forged, high-risk sites. Additionally, you may want to consider making use of a Live CD exclusively for online banking.

How can I protect myself from phishing attacks?

  • If you suspect you have received a phishing email message, please forward it *as an attachment* to This will help refine system message scanning.
  • Never respond to email messages asking for account, password, banking, or credit card information.
  • Do not open attachments or click any hyperlinks.
  • Do not respond to text or voicemail messages that ask you to call a number and enter your account number and pin.
  • Make sure you use antivirus software, keep it updated, and scan your system regularly.
  • Make sure you use an updated web browser that includes anti-phishing security features.
  • Make sure you stay up-to-date on the latest releases and patches for your operating systems and critical programs. These releases are frequently security related.

Who can I contact if I have further questions?

If you have a question or concern not listed here, please contact