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Disabling Rules and Alerts

Posted on 2008-11-13
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I've searched everywhere on how to Disable the Rules and Alerts Toolbar in Microsoft Outlook 2003/2007.  I've even downloaded both ADM files and can't seem to find anything in there.

I have users setting up rules to automatically forward a copy of the email to their personal accounts and I even have that allow auto forward box unchecked in Microsoft System Manager.  

Is there another way of disabling this feature per user or even globally?  
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Question by:armgtit
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by:dfxdeimos
ID: 22955761
You could modify the shortcut that they use to launch Outlook and add the "/cleanrules" flag to it. That clears all the rules out of Outlook on startup...

I am unable to find an enterprise wide way to do this. What ADM files do you speak of?
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by:dfxdeimos
ID: 22955767
Nevermind, I see you mean just the generic Outlook configuration templates.
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by:armgtit
ID: 22955791
Yes outlk11.adm and outlk12.adm, there has go to be another way to disable this... Even if there was some third party exchange management software.  I need a better solution.
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by:dfxdeimos
ID: 22955851
The problem here is that they probably didn't do use cases that would require rules to be disabled, as generally you either use them or you don't. I wouldn't be surprised if there was no better way to do this.

What I would do in the meantime is issue an addendum to your information security policy that says users CANNOT use rules for the purposes that you described above and that you will be randomly reviewing people's Outlook setups for existing rules. You would of course have to have management on board with you, but if you describe the security risk that this creates, that shouldn't be a problem.

You could also create a logon script that launches Outlook when they log in with that flag on it.

Wish I had a better answer for you...
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by:armgtit
ID: 22956687
Yes but they can still go into their rules and alerts and reset the rules during that session, than once they close and log back in it will remove it and they can just re add it for that day, so that doesn't solve the issue.

I'm still a little shocked Microsoft hasn't addressed this issue.  I'm more suprised since this issue can definetly have an affect on HIPAA and SOX compliance requirements.
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by:dfxdeimos
ID: 22956784
Well, I can't say for sure, and I have never worked for a firm that was subject to the HIPAA or SOX requirements (that I know of =X). I will continue to look for a solution for you.

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by:armgtit
ID: 22957077
Usually the rule of thumb is to..

#1 Have a policy that states to your end user what they can and can't do, enforce that policy
#2 Make them sign it.
#3 Have some type of monitoring or logging app that shows the policy is working.
#4 Rely on Technology to enforce the policy even though they signed an agreement.
All for legal reasons of course.
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by:dfxdeimos
ID: 22957110
I only use Postini for their SPAM filtering, but they seem to offer a suite of products geared towards regulatory compliance.

https://www.postini.com/postini_solutions/comms_compliance.php
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by:dfxdeimos
ID: 22957114
Just to clarify, that was just a side note. I know that doesn't solve your initial problem.
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by:armgtit
ID: 22959354
Even making it so I can block the specific outgoing email and deleting it would solve the issue.  Because I can see in the archive when a user has automatic forward set.

Some how block username@cox.net
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armgtit earned 0 total points
ID: 22960116
Well I figured out a great solution for this issue...

I used Trend Micro's Content Filtering to achieve the goal..

I create a Rule that Blocks any email with the words "Auto forwarded by rule"  as well as creating a rule that blocks the specific outbound email address.
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by:dfxdeimos
ID: 22961635
Great, glad you found the resolution. If it was specific address you coul also use the universal accept / reject list in Exchange.
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by:Golfbug53
ID: 38884887
Any update on this. I'm looking to disable "Rules & Alerts" capability
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