Table of Contents
What is Email encryption & how do you encrypt email messages, and better security measures are needed to protect people and businesses. The recent CIA leaks show that no one is safe from being spied on, and encryption is the best way to protect your email messages from prying eyes. This post explains how to encrypt email messages in Outlook using its native settings, and how to use Virtru Secure Email encryption and Mailvelope to encrypt email messages.
What is Email encryption?
Email encryption is the process of converting email information or data into a code that can’t be accessed by unauthorized people. It’s like a lock and key system: to open a lock, you need a key, and to access encrypted data, you need the encryption key. Many messaging platforms have started using encryption, so it makes sense to do the same with email.
Messaging platforms such as WhatsApp and Signal have started using encryption, so it only makes sense for us to do the same when using email. In this post, we’ll explain how you can send encrypted emails to various email clients.
Most important documents, like bank statements and contracts, are expected to be private. In some cases, they’re legally bound to be private. To encrypt your emails, you’ll need access to a few tools.
How do you encrypt email messages with Mailvelope
Related Post: How to combine Outlook Inbox of multiple accounts
Mailvelope is a browser extension that works on Windows, Mac, Linux, and Chromebooks. I prefer Mailvelope because it lets me encrypt any email without actually installing a tool for each one.
Visit the Mailvelope website to download the browser extension for Chrome or Firefox. Once installed, click on the Mailvelope padlock icon to get started.
To generate your keys, click on the “Options” button and fill in your details. Once you have submitted your information, your key will be generated. Place the generated key on your keyring and use encryption s2018 RSA and higher; for higher settings, you need to click on “Advanced.”
Now simply download the key and send to the people you want to access your email, ensuring no one else can read it. Remember to keep the key safe, as it is essential for the encryption.
Composing Encrypted Emails
Both you and your friend need to have exchanged public keys and imported each other’s key in order to compose an email. To import, paste your contact’s public key into the text box and hit the “Import” button.
Open your webmail and begin typing. Once you start, a tiny logo will appear on the right (see screenshot). Click it to open an encrypted compose window. This will also ensure that your email doesn’t get saved as a draft on your usual server.
If you receive an encrypted message from someone, hover your pointer over the message and an envelope icon will appear. Once prompted, enter the password for the email and you will be able to view it.
Encrypt Emails with Virtru Secure Email encryption
Most people these days prefer using an encryption method like S/MIME that will protect your email, however this only works if you are sending emails within the organization. Also, since many of them don’t use the S/MIME standard, they will not be able to access the encrypted email.
Download the Virtru Secure Email plugin from its official website and then run the file once the installation is complete. If you’re seeing a Virtru Welcome screen when you restart Outlook, click “Authorize Me” and then select the email address you want to authorize. Click “Activate these emails” and you’re all set.
The Virtru toggle will appear in your Outlook. Make sure it’s in the inactive state when sending a message. The entire encryption process is extremely easy compared to PGP.
To ensure your emails are secure, simply enable the Virtru extension. If the recipient also has Virtru installed, they will be able to read the email. Otherwise, they will need to install the Virtru Secure Reader.
The recipients can read the message directly after the Reader verifies their identity by logging in with their Gmail account or verifying their email with a link. Furthermore, the recipients can reply securely with the Reader by using the encrypted attachments feature.
Other useful features of this extension include the ability to set an expiration date for your message, as well as to disable forwarding to ensure that the recipient cannot forward the message to anyone. You can download Virtru for free for Outlook and Firefox. If you are a Chrome user, you can download the Virtru Chrome Extension. There are other free Email Encryption Add-ins for Outlook too that are available.
Encrypt email messages in Outlook
To help keep your messages safe, Microsoft Outlook has a built-in security feature. To use it, just compose your message as usual, then go to File > Properties. In the Security Settings section, check the box next to “Encrypt message contents and attachments.” Once you’re done composing your message, just click Send.
You can encrypt all your outgoing messages by clicking on the File tab, selecting Options > Trust Center > Trust Center Settings, and turning on encryption for every message.
To do this, go to the Email Security tab under the encrypted email section and select the option “Encrypt contents and attachments for outgoing messages.” You can also head over to Settings and choose a specific certificate.