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Encrypted email: How to send an encrypted email using Office 365

Microsoft offers email encryption using Outlook client or Outlook for the web when sending to any email address.

Microsoft Office 365 Encryption Basics

Microsoft has evolved their email encryption solutions to provide a unified sender experience whether you are sending a protected message someone within UW-Stout or outside of the organization.

Regardless of the recipient's email provider or email application, they will be able to read the encrypted message. If the recipients use Outlook, the experience is seamless. They will receive the message, see that it is encrypted, and be able to open and read the message. If they cannot use Outlook, they will receive a limited-time web-view link that will let them read the message. There is no software to install. Simply open the web-view link to see the encrypted message.

Microsoft Office attachments such as Word, Excel or PowerPoint files are encrypted when they are sent as an attachment to an encrypted email and remain encrypted even after they are downloaded and can only be opened by the original recipient.

Note: Other attachments such as pdf files or images, are encrypted in transit, but once they are saved, they are no longer protected and can be forwarded, even if forwarding of the encrypted message was not allowed.

Encrypted email, when used within a documented business process, can meet a variety of compliance requirements including FERPA, HIPAA, GLBA, etc. Please discuss encryption with your consultant prior to using it where compliance is required.

How to Encrypt Email

Encryption in Outlook is very easy. When you are creating a new message, open the options tab and select the encrypt option.

The first time you select the option, you may be asked to connect to rights management servers and get templates. You only need to do this once.

Once you have connected to the server and received the templates, you will have 4 options:

  • Encrypt Only: The message is encrypted but no restrictions are placed on the message.

  • Do Not Forward: Only the recipients of the email or document (data file) will be able to view and reply. They cannot forward or share with other people or print. Even if someone you did not specifically give permission to access the file gets it, they will not be able to view the contents, because the policy is checked upon opening and the information is encrypted the entire time.

  • Confidential: Only people in UW-Stout’s Microsoft Office 365 environment can view the content, make edits, and share with others inside UW-Stout’s Microsoft Office 365 environment.

  • Confidential View Only: Only people in UW-Stout’s Microsoft Office 365 environment can view this content but cannot edit or change it in any way. They can share with others inside UW-Stout’s Microsoft Office 365 environment.

Opening an Encrypted Email

For users within UW-Stout

Opening an encrypted email is seamless. The only difference you will notice is a small banner notifying you the message was encrypted and informing you of your rights.

For users outside of UW-Stout. 

When the encrypted message arrives in the external recipient's mailbox they will need to click on the "Read the message" button where it will redirect them to the secure portal.

The secure portal will give the recipient two options to view the encrypted message.

If the recipient is using a system that has partnered with Microsoft, such as Google, they are able to sign in with their existing email provider's email address and password. 

If they do not have an account with a trusted partner or choose not to log in using it, the recipient can select the one-time pass code option. In this case, Microsoft will email the recipient a one-time code to access a portal where they will be able to read the message.

Keywordsencrypt secure   Doc ID68715
OwnerClara R.GroupUW Stout
Created2016-11-15 12:54:16Updated2021-01-11 14:11:26
SitesUW Stout
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