If you are associated with one of our member schools, log in to our online Learning Community.

What Is an Allow list, Why Is It Important to UNICON, and How Do I Implement It?

An Allow list, also called a Whitelist, is a proactive way to ensure that emails you want are delivered to you.

As security threats become pervasive, organizations and individuals have adopted measures to keep unwanted email from reaching your inbox.

“To whitelist an email address just means you add them to your approved senders list. This tells your email client that you know this sender and trust them, which will keep emails from this contact at the top of your inbox and out of the junk folder. Whitelisting is a quick, one-time-only task to ensure the sender of an email gets added to the recipient’s address book or safe senders list.” 1

At the organizational level, email server administrators have instituted firewall policies to reject email originating from any list by placing domains on a “Do Not Allow” or Blacklist. The rationale is that many email threats come from bulk lists generated by bad actors, so blocking all messages coming from a list effectively locks out this form of attack from ever reaching your Inbox.

At the individual email client level, users also can block email from any domain they choose by placing the domain on a “Do Not Allow” or Blacklist. The domain is the part of your email address that comes after the @ symbol.

Both are strategies that help keep your email Inbox clear of unwanted and often harmful messages.

But in the process, email messages that you actually want may also be blocked from delivery.

The way to ensure that you receive messages from a trusted source is to place the domain on an Allow or Whitelist.  For instance, the UNICON domain is uniconexed.org, so if you add that domain to an Allow list in your email client, all mail coming from that domain will be delivered to your email Inbox and not to Spam,  provided your organization’s email server also allows messages from that domain.

So, placing a domain on an Allow list at the user level is not enough; the email server at your organization must also allow a domain such as uniconexed.org to deliver mail.

While you control Whitelisting at the local level, your organization’s email server settings are controlled by the technical staff that oversee the email server for the organization.  Therefore, you need to contact your technical staff to implement a Whitelist addition.

As a practical matter, only one person in your immediate group needs to contact the technical staff.

This link provides instructions on how to ensure that future emails get delivered straight to your inbox in some of the most popular email clients:



1 https://www.campaignmonitor.com/resources/guides/whitelisting/