There is a feature commonly called Identities or Roles that allows you to send email so it comes from an address other than your default email address. Common uses for this feature include the following:
- So you can send email to a mailing list when you are subscribed using an address other than your default address. For example, you may be subscribed to a mailing list as firstname.lastname@example.org but you use gmail and send email as email@example.com. Your postings to the list may be rejected or moderated because you are seen as not being a member of the list.
- To send email so it appears to be from a group account or mailing list address. For example, you may be a member of a school-wide committee and want to send email so it appears to be from the committee instead of from you individually. You can also control the destination address for replies so anyone replying to the email will reach the committee instead of just you.
It is important to note that this does not let you send email truly anonymously. The email may not include your normal email address but it will contain header information identifying the system used to send the email and other tracking data that could be used to identify you as the sender. Like just about everything you do on the internet, your activity could still be tracked back to you.
You are also advised to send a test message to yourself and look at the full headers of the message for identifying information if you need to ensure that your normal email address is not exposed. Different mailers expose different information when using identities so you should take care that you are not exposing more information than you want.
Most modern mail clients have support for Identities or alternate Accounts but how these are managed is mailer-specific. Below is information on how to use this feature using several common mail clients.
If you are using IU group accounts then these accounts can be added to your Outlook. Once that is done, you will have the option to send email using these group accounts by selecting the From address from the list of available accounts when composing the message. However, outlook does not allow you to send mail From: any other addresses.
There are the steps for adding a new "Identity" in Mozilla Thunderbird:
- Select "Account Settings..." which will be under either the Edit, Tools, or Preference menu depending on the version of Thunderbird you are using.
- From the "Account Settings" page, click on the "Manage Identities..." button which you should find under the general account settings (ie. under the section where you set your name and email address).
- From the Manage Identities window you should see a listing of your existing email addresses. Click on "Add..." to create a new Identity.
- From the Identity Settings window, you will want to fill in the following fields:
- Your Name - The name you want to appear in the outgoing email. For example, you could use something like "School of Informatics and Computing Facilities Committee".
- Email Address - The email address you want the email to appear to be from. If there is a mailing address for the members of the committee, you can use that.
- Reply-to Address - You will probably want to use the same email address that you used in the Email Address field. If you don't enter an address here, the email will appears to be from your committee but replies will come back to you.
There are other settings you can configure, but the above are the required ones.
- When you are done, just click OK to save this Identity.
Once you have the identity configured, using it is quite simple. When you compose a message like you normally would, you can select this new identity from the pull-down menu in the From: field while you are in the Compose editor.
Sending email From your IU address using Gmail can only be done by storing your IU passphrase on the Gmail system. This is a violation of IU policy and there are reports that this fails with errors like "not authorized to use this service". These errors seem to be intermittent but using this method is not reliable. So, you should NOT use this method but we have kept it here for reference since it may be useful for setting up this feature for other non-IU accounts you may have.
This feature can be configured in Gmail as follows:
- Log into gmail and click on "Options> Settings". Options is the little gear near the upper right corner.
- From the Setting page, click on "Accounts and Import"
- In the "Send mail as" section, click on "Add another email address you own"
- Fill in the Name and Email address
- You can leave 'Treat as an alias' checked but click 'Learn more' to see the details.
- If you are setting this up for an IU email address, we recommend you use the IU SMTP server as follows:
- SMTP Server: mail-relay.iu.edu, Port: 465
- Username: your IU username (without the @indiana.edu or @iu.edu)
- Password: Your IU passphrase
- Secured connection using: SSL
- Click "Add Account". This will send a verification email to this address. Once you receive that email, just click on the verification link to confirm that you actually own the email address you are using.
Once you have the identity configured, using it is quite simple. When you compose a message like you normally would, you can select this new identity from the pull-down menu in the From: field while you are in the Compose editor. You can also make this address the default by selecting 'make default' from the Send mail as: settings page.
It is important to note that when using this feature in gmail, the outgoing messages may still contain a 'Sender' header that includes your real gmail email address if you are not using the IU SMTP server (as recommended above). So, you should take care when using this feature to be sure your real gmail address is not inadvertently exposed.
You can configure multiple Roles (the term for identities in pine) from within pine and then send email as any of these roles. Here is the process for setting this up in pine.
- There are a couple settings you will probably want to set in your pine configuration related to roles. Go into S-Setup, C-Configure and enable the following:
Sending Preferences -> Do Not Generate Sender HeaderOnce you Set (X) these options, hit E-Exit, Y-Yes to save the changes.
Advanced User Preferences -> Confirm Role Even for Default
- You are now ready to create your new role, which you can do by going to S-Setup, R-Rules, R-Roles, A-Add. From here you can C-Change the desired values. At a minimum, you should change the 'Nickname' to some name you want to use for this role and set the 'From pattern' to the email address you want to send from. Once that is done, hit E-Exit, Y-Yes, E-Exit, Y-Yes.
After you have all the desired roles configured, when you C-Compose it will prompt you with:
Press Return to Compose using no role, or ^T to select a role
If you just hit return, it will send normally. If you hit ^T (ctrl-T) it will allow you to select the desired role.
If you set the "Do Not Generate Sender Header" option as shown above, your email address on the local system will not be exposed in the email you send using an alternate role. If you don't set this option, your email address will appear in a Sender header unless you specifically set the 'Sender pattern' in the configuration for the role. However, no matter how you configure things, the IP address and hostname of the system you are using will be included in the Received: headers of the outgoing message.