Ensuring public safety for the 21st century

ICOTS Emails Not Reaching Some Users

A number of states continue to submit the occasional ticket where a user or group of users has stopped receiving any email notifications from ICOTS. There are typically two underlying causes to this issue:

  1. Internal software used to limit spam or junk mail is rejecting emails from ICOTS or placing them in a quarantine folder.
  2. An internal mail server is sending a “hard bounce” message to the ICOTS mail server, effectively telling it that the email address doesn’t exist and future emails should be disabled.

In both instances, states will need to take action to reinstate ICOTS notifications for the user. In the case of ICOTS emails being marked as spam, resolving the issue could be as simple as locating the emails in the spam folder, but could also require the user’s IT department to check their email logs to see where the notifications are being blocked.

This knowledge base article will help IT departments make sure ICOTS emails aren’t flagged as junk mail: https://support.interstatecompact.org/hc/en-us/articles/224743927-Not-Receiving-A-Password-Reset-Email

In the case of “hard bounce” notifications, the national office can send those specific emails to Appriss to check if they’ve been deactivated. Once reactivated, the user’s IT department will have to take action to ensure those hard bounce notifications are not sent again.

Here are the steps to take if a user in your state s not receiving email notifications from ICOTS:

  1. Determine whether the emails are not being blocked by a spam filter. This usually requires reaching out to the department in charge of administrating your email service.
  2. If you’re sure the spam filter is not blocking emails, send the specific email addresses not getting notifications to the helpdesk: https://support.interstatecompact.org/hc/en-us/requests/new
  3. Provide email contact information for the person or department in charge of administrating the email for your domain. Once provided, the national office can forward the issue to Appriss.
  4. Appriss will be able to determine whether notifications stopped due to a hard bounce message. They will reactivate it and, if the deactivation occurred within the past 30 days, send email logs showing when and how the deactivation occurred.
  5. *MOST IMPORTANT* – The department or agency responsible for administrating email for that user(s) must take steps to ensure hard bounce notifications are not sent by their email servers for messages coming from ICOTS. Otherwise, this issue will continue to occur.

While the issue is occurring on the state’s side, the national office is happy to assist in diagnosing the problem.  

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