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Bethany E-mail Account

Bethany email accounts (students, faculty, staff, and alumni) are provided through Gmail. Sign in with your Bethany username and password. You will not use your full email address to sign in.

If signing in doesn't work, follow these steps:

  1. Do not sign in as First.Last@blc.edu or username@alum.blc.edu.
  2. If you have forgotten your password, please visit our Password Help page.
  3. If no Bethany logo appears on the Gmail login page (visiting mail.google.com instead of gmail.blc.edu), or to access your email with your phone, sign in using username@blc.edu and your Bethany password.
  4. If you have other questions, please contact the IT Services Help Desk at 507-344-7411 or helpdesk@blc.edu.

Desktop Email Clients

To access your email from a desktop email client such Outlook, Thunderbird, or Postbox, your account settings must be configured as follows:

  • Incoming Mail (IMAP):
    • Server: imap.gmail.com
    • Port: 993
    • Requires SSL: Yes
  • Outgoing Mail (SMTP):
    • Server: smtp.gmail.com
    • Port: 465 or 587
    • Requires SSL: Yes
    • Requires authentication: Yes
    • Use same settings as incoming mail server
  • Full Name or Display Name: [your name]
  • Account Name or Username: username@blc.edu
  • Email address: First.Last@blc.edu or username@blc.edu
  • Password: Your Bethany password

Tips for reducing unsolicited (SPAM) email

My inbox is filling up with spam! Why is this happening?

Spam tends to increase due to several factors:

First, if an e-mail address is posted on a publicly available website (a message board, for instance), sooner or later, it will begin receiving spam e-mails. Spammers frequently employ automated programs called "web crawlers" or "bots" that methodically search the Internet for e-mail addresses. The collected addresses are then sent spam messages, or sold to other spammers.

Second, many business and news websites require users to register with an e-mail address. Usually, the business will limit itself to sending e-mails about product offers (which can also be unwanted), and news websites will send out article notifications. Some websites, however, have no scruples about selling their lists of e-mail addresses, which often find their way into the hands of spammers.

Third, simply opening a spam e-mail can lead to still more spam. Many spam e-mails are nothing more than a link to an image file hosted on a spammer's server, or contain a small hyperlink. Once the e-mail is opened, the hyperlink is activated, and the spammer knows that the e-mail address is valid and can continue to receive spam e-mails.

Fourth, spam can arrive simply by automated guesswork. Many e-mail addresses follow standardized naming conventions (for instance, john.doe@blc.edu), and automated programs can easily generate a host of possible e-mail addresses. Most of the messages will be undeliverable, but some will get through.

Fifth, certain kinds of viruses and spyware contribute to spam. Some viruses and spyware programs are designed specifically to harvest e-mail addresses from a user's address book. Others use the computer itself to send out spam e-mails, taking addresses from the address book. These "botnets", as they are commonly known, generate a large percentage of spam e-mail.

How can I best protect myself from spam?

Precautionary measures are the best protection against spam.

It's best to keep your e-mail address private, and give it out only when necessary. You should only share your Bethany e-mail address with people on campus, and with trustworthy persons.

Should you need to register at a website, or publicly post an e-mail address, it's best to have a separate e-mail address dedicated exclusively to that purpose. Many providers offer free e-mail accounts, which makes for a cheap and easy "secondary" e-mail account where spam would be less of an inconvenience.

I want to buy something from a website, and they need my e-mail address. Should I use my Bethany address?

Probably not. At the very least, the website will send you e-mails advertising productions and special promotions. Many online businesses have no qualms about selling lists of e-mail addresses, which could result in more spam.

Instead, use a secondary e-mail address (such as a free e-mail account from another provider), since receiving spam at that address might prove less of an inconvenience.

I've received a chain e-mail! Should I send it on to twenty new recipients?

No. Chain e-mails are often hoaxes. Furthermore, every time someone forwards the message, the recipients' e-mail addresses remained in the message's header, and those addresses easily can end up in the hands of spammers (if, for instance, one of the recipients has an address-harvesting virus on his computer).

I will not be able to check my e-mail for some time. Should I use an "out-of-office" autoresponder?

No. This can cause a problem colloquially known as "autoresponder hell", where two e-mail accounts, both set to autorespond, send each other thousands of "out-of-office" notifications. Additionally, if a spammer receives an "out-of-office" message from your account, that only confirms your e-mail address, thereby inviting more spam.

Alumni Email Accounts

Upon graduation or transfer from Bethany, alumni can retain their email accounts and addresses indefinitely by simply continuing to use the account.