Division of Information Services Introduces New “Message Me” Function for Online Directory

Kent State University’s Division of Information Services has introduced a new “Message Me” functionality, which replaces the public-facing email address system for the online phone directory.

“This change was necessitated because we observed parties external to the university, from both domestic and international locations, mass harvesting email addresses out of the phone directory,” says Brendan Walsh, Kent State’s manager for security and access management. “Once harvested, the amassed email addresses were then used to distribute phishing messages explicitly targeting Kent State faculty and staff.”

Walsh says that this mass harvesting of employee emails created additional issues that impacted the performance of the Banner systems, which showed up as performance problems during Enterprise Monitoring scorecard reviews.

In order to prevent further exposure to the threat of mass harvesting, the Division of Information Services removed email addresses from the public-facing version of the online phone directory and replaced them with the new "Message Me" functionality.  

“When you search for a person in the public-facing phone directory, you will now see a button called ‘Message Me’ in place of the email address,” Walsh says. “Clicking on this reveals a web form that someone outside the university can use to contact Kent State faculty and staff without revealing to them the actual email address of the person.”  

To use the new functionality to send an email, simply click on “Message Me,” type in your name and your email address, and include a brief message to the person you are attempting to contact. They will receive an email message in their inbox that includes all of these details.

Members of the Kent State community can still look up faculty and staff email addresses in the directory when logged in to FlashLine.

If you have questions about “Message Me,” contact Walsh at 330-672-8551.

POSTED: Wednesday, August 30, 2017 02:43 PM
Updated: Saturday, December 3, 2022 01:02 AM
Foluke Omosun