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  FAQ > Email

How can I check my BC e-mail, from home or when travelling?
This answer assumes that you already have an Internet connection at home. (BC does not provide direct, dial-in service.)

**start up your connection to the Internet (via AOL, Lightspeed, NetZero or whatever service you use) and point your browser to:

This will allow you to enter your username preceeded by a "BC\" (for example, "BC\jsmith") and your password, and you will have nearly the same ability to read, send, and manipulate e-mail that you have at your own desk.

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I got this e-mail warning about a virus/safety hazard/marketing promotion...
E-mail is a wonderful way to get word out immediately in a rapidly-evolving world. That makes it ideal for practical jokes as well. Much of what is mailed out to huge numbers of people turns out later not to be true.

--There is no "Perrin" virus and you won't catch a virus from a message marked "Join the crew."

--Welding machines can't stick your contacts to your eyeballs, and Osama Bin Laden is not worried over the theft of a box of Cheetos.

--Nobody is tracking e-mails as a promotion, waiting to give you a new car, or gift certificate, if you'll just
send the message on to x number of people.

Yet millions believe and pass on these warnings/messages daily, wasting their time and others'.

Here's a plug for a truly wonderful website:

Where hundreds of "Urban Legends" from the Internet are discussed and debunked. Take a few minutes to check out the latest rumor at Snopes before passing it along. Besides, isn't it better to know the truth about the current stories--instead of finding out AFTER you passed them along?

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I've gotten this obscene/threatening/abusive e-mail. What can I do?
BC takes this sort of thing very seriously. If it came from one of our users--even if Hotmail or some outside service actually sent it--we will remove access for the offender. Several students have had their accounts pulled for such misbehavior.

We need a copy of the original message to track properly. Once again, hit the FORWARD button and send it to You can also print the message out, but send a Forward anyway. This preserves
the headers so we can trace it back to the writer.

Don't delete the original message until you have talked with us...we want to make sure we have the information before you get rid of it. Don't just ignore the matter, either. If it bothers you, it bothers us.

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How safe is all this? Could someone read my e-mail?
ALL e-mail is insecure. Think of e-mail as the Internet equivalent of a postcard. What keeps the mailman from reading your postcards? Nothing, except the honor system. It's slightly more secure than that, but the rule of thumb is "never say anything in an e-mail you wouldn't say on a postcard."

E-mail works because messages are passed from hand-to-hand, system-to-system, across the Internet. The FBI has recently installed computers to "sniff" e-mail as it goes past major systems. For most things, the convenience of e-mail outweighs the danger. For the rest, use a stamp and an envelope.

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I already have a Hotmail account. How do I use it?
You can use your Hotmail account to check e-mail, but remember that BC's firewall system helps protect you against viruses that may be attached to messages, and Hotmail's virus protection is limited. Besides, if you can reach Hotmail, you can reach Mail2Web, and that's much easier to use.

If you still want to use Hotmail, give the helpdesk a call at x4274 and we'll walk you through the procedure.

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I need to send an e-mail to someone, but I don't know his address.
Well, if your target is on-campus, you can use either the paper e-mail
directory or the on-line listings at to search by name,
department or even phone number.

If off-campus, you may have to call the person up and ask--but there are
similar directories at most colleges.

Also, check your received e-mail inbox. If you have ever gotten e-mail
from that person before, you can generally use the return address shown

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I can't get my email, and I know my password is correct - What else could it be?
(This is a non-Exchange question, because if there is an error with your Exchange password you can't even get logged onto the machine, let alone retrieve e-mail).

The first thing to check is whether your CAPS LOCK key has been pressed. The e-mail server is case-sensitive, so 'password" is interpreted differently from "PASSWORD" and both are different from "PaSsWoRd") You can use this fact to make your password harder to guess, by the way.

If you're typing it correctly, and it _still_ doesn't work, you can call the Help Desk at 4274 and have us reset the password. This will affect how your computer logs into the network in addition to your e-mail, so use this as a last resort.

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I got this message that the user I sent mail to doesn't exist. Now what?
First of all, make sure you typed the name correctly. Computers don't understand typoes. Did you reverse "ie" for "ei"? Use too many letters? (No e-mail ID at BC has more than eight characters total).

Did you reply to a "munged" address? Some people, in an effort to keep out unwanted commercial ads ("spam") deliberately foul up their own addresses on outgoing mail. Is there a "NOSPAM" or "REMOVETHIS" in the middle of the address? Try removing it.

Be aware that the user himself may have mistyped the e-mail address or abbreviated it. "" is not the same as "" Computers are extremely literal-minded, they do exactly what is asked of them.

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I got a returned email titled 'user unknown' but I KNOW I didn't send this message!
Take heart...we believe you. Occasionally, a spammer will "fake" the outgoing address on an e-mail in order to hide his identity from angry customers. All too often, this happens if the spam is pornographic or otherwise offensive. Often, these are "chained," where you get the message first, then the spammer e-mails the next victim as if it came from you. Most of the time, you never even know it happened--unless the next victim's address information is wrong.

What can you do about it if your address is used by a spammer? Not much. If you forward the message to BCIS
(send it to we can try to track it down to the originator--but most of the time they're long-gone by then. Just delete it and hope the Internet evolves, eventually.

Don't hesitate to tell us, however, because this type of error message is typical of the new breeds of e-mailed viruses, notably the "Magistr" virus. This one sends itself out from your computer under false pretenses. This can create a huge problem for others if not fixed promptly.

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IS Mission Statement

The Information Services department's goal is to provide a reliable technological environment that allows students, faculty and staff to carry out the mission of the college more efficiently.

Information Services provides the leadership in technological solutions for Bakersfield College. It maintains the data network infrastructure, all computer software and hardware and provides training to staff and faculty on matters of technology.