Tip: Using message disclaimers in Lotus Notes/Domino 7

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[Editor's note: This tip describes the Lotus Notes/Domino 7 Beta 2 implementation of Message Disclaimers. It may not accurately reflect the features or functionality of the Gold version of Lotus Notes/Domino 7.]

One eagerly anticipated feature in Lotus Notes and Domino 7 is the ability to easily generate message disclaimers. Remember when email was primary used as an electronic messaging tool to improve business performance and share information with your friends? With the growing amount of spam mail received, it became harder to sort out the legitimate email. So companies started stamping their email messages with disclaimers as one way to prove their authenticity. This Domino tip explains how to enable message disclaimers in Lotus Domino 7.

Prior to Lotus Notes and Domino 7, adding a disclaimer to messages required a third-party product or modifying the mailbox template as described in the technote, "How to add a standard disclaimer into all outgoing SMTP messages in Domino." Lotus Domino 6 introduced Policy Setting documents: Archiving, Desktop, Registration, Security, and Setup. Now in Lotus Domino 7, IBM introduces a Mail Settings document. This tip is intended for Lotus Domino administrators who are familiar with policies. For information on policies, please refer to the following article, "Policy-based system administration in with Domino 6."

Figure 1. The Mail Setting document Message Disclaimers tab
The Mail Setting document Message Disclaimers tab
The Mail Setting document Message Disclaimers tab

Message disclaimers can be enabled by the Lotus Notes client, by Lotus Domino server, or by both. IBM recommends that you enable the Lotus Notes client to add the disclaimer because this reduces the overhead on the server. If you enable the field "Notes client can add disclaimer," then message disclaimers will be added if the recipient has an Internet style address. The policy and disclaimer is pushed down to the client through the dynamic configuration. If you disable the ability to have the Notes client add the message disclaimer, the Domino server can still add the disclaimer.

The disclaimer text is usually a notice used to protect companies from any legal ramifications. Many customers use message disclaimers to validate that the email message was sent from their organization and to protect their organization from any malicious mail sent by an employee. The disclaimer test can be formatted in plain text or HTML. If you choose HTML, you must enter the HTML tags when you enter the text. Image files are not supported. You can insert HTTP links. The following is a sample HTML disclaimer with an HTTP link.

<html>
<head>
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type">
</head>
<body bgcolor="#FFFFFF>

<em><font size="2" face="Default Sans Serif">
"Disclaimer: This message is intended only for the use of the individual or entity to
which it is addressed and may contain information which is privileged, confidential, proprietary,
or exempt from disclosure under applicable law. If you are not the intended recipient or the person
responsible for delivering the message to the intended recipient, you are strictly prohibited from
disclosing, distributing, copying, or in any way using this message. If you have received this 
communication in error, please notify the sender and destroy and delete any copies you may have
received."
</font></em>
<br/><br/>
<a href="http://www.ibm.com"><font size="2" face="Default Sans Serif">
<i>http://www.ibm.com</igt;</fontgt;</a>

</body>
</html>

When deciding on the disclaimer text, you should consider all possible interpretations of the text and make sure that it complies with the company policies. The disclaimer text can be appended to the bottom of the email or prepended to the top of the body. The disclaimer text also supports multilingual Internet mail. The Multilingual Internet mail field applies only to message disclaimers that are added by the Domino server. If the recipient's mail program cannot read Unicode character sets, then choose the Use Best Match option for that field. The alternative option is to use Unicode (UTF-8), which is the preferred method of sending messages in multiple languages.

If you choose not to have the Notes client add the disclaimer, you can still configure the Domino server to add the disclaimer with the router task.

Figure 2. The Configuration Settings document Message Disclaimers tab
The Configuration Settings document Message Disclaimers tab
The Configuration Settings document Message Disclaimers tab

If you enable message disclaimers in the Configuration Settings document, then the router task adds the disclaimer text defined in the Policy document. You can enable or disable the "Add disclaimer to S/MIME signed or encrypted messages" option. If you want to add message disclaimers to S/MIME or encrypted messages, it is recommended that you have the Notes client add the disclaimer. The Notes client adds the message disclaimer before signing or encrypting the messages. If the Domino server adds the disclaimer to a signed or encrypted message, the recipient of the message may not be able to decrypt the message or verify the electronic signature. If the Domino server adds the message disclaimer, you also have the ability to increase the logging level to assist in troubleshooting.


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ArticleTitle=Tip: Using message disclaimers in Lotus Notes/Domino 7
publish-date=10252004