Set rules with Office 365 message classification

Message classifications are some of the handiest tools Exchange Online admins can have in their toolkits.

Office 365 comes preconfigured with all components linked together, but not every admin is familiar with its capabilities. One hidden gem in Office 365 is message classifications. And when combined with other Exchange features — such as transport rules — message classifications are a handy addition to every Exchange Online administrator’s toolkit.

Office 365 message classifications allow users to categorize messages while enabling administrators to implement business rules based on user selections. Message classifications give end users an interface that provides additional information about the message they’re sending and allows admins to implement business logic, either on the server side or in Exchange Online.

After creating message classifications in Exchange Online, end users are exposed to the messages via Outlook Web App or a dropdown list in Outlook. Once a classification is selected and the message is sent, an attribute is stamped on the message that the transport rules — the engine we’ll use to implement our business logic — can read.

Actions can include blocking the message, altering the content, and applying protection or encryption to the message. You can also perform more complex actions, such as forwarding a message for approval or evaluating messages against the data loss prevention engine.

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