Encrypting Outlook Emails

When Should I Use Email Encryption?

You must use encryption if you are emailing anything confidential or classified such as:

  • protected health information (PHI)
  • personally identifiable information (PII)
  • HIPAA information
  • FERPA information
  • educational records
  • credit card information
  • anything protected by governmental or institutional regulations, it must be encrypted.

Encryption ensures that protected or sensitive information is not intercepted during email transmission, thus protecting you and the university from potentially costly and reputation-damaging data breaches.

How Do I Send an Encrypted Email?

You can enter a descriptive subject line as long as the word encrypt is included somewhere within it. Examples: New Student Information encrypt or Encrypt New Student Information.
Outlook screen with sender, receiver and subject with "encrypt" in it

Note that words such as "encryption” or “encrypted” will not trigger the encryption process.

What Do I Do When I Receive an Encrypted Email?

Windows users:

  1. Click on the email.
  2. Email is opened in outlook.office365.com as a new tab.
  3. External users can sign into their Microsoft account or use a one-time passcode.
  4. The encrypted email is displayed.

Mac Users:

  1. Click on the email.
  2. Click the Verify Credentials button in the right corner.
  3. You may be required to enter your NetID and/or password and validate with Duo.
  4. The encrypted email is displayed with the encryption line.

How to "Reply to" or "Forward" an Encrypted Email

You can reply to the email or forward as usual. Encryption will continue to be enabled on the entire email thread as long as the recipient replies from the screen where the encrypted message is displayed. If needed, the Subject line can be changed.

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Article ID: 132941
Mon 5/3/21 5:46 PM
Fri 5/17/24 3:10 PM