Encrypt email messages

Encrypting an email message in Microsoft Outlook protects the privacy of the message by converting it from readable plain text into scrambled cipher text. Only the recipient who has the private key (private key: The secret key kept on the sender's computer that the sender uses to digitally sign messages to recipients and to decrypt (unlock) messages from recipients. Private keys should be password protected.) that matches the public key (public key: The key a sender gives to a recipient so that the recipient can verify the sender's signature and confirm that the message was not altered. Recipients also use the public key to encrypt (lock) e-mail messages to the sender.) used to encrypt the message can decipher the message for reading. Any recipient without the corresponding private key sees garbled text.


Encrypt a single message

  1. In message that you are composing, on the Options tab, in the More Options group, click Message Options Dialog Box Launcher Dialog Box Launcher.
  2. Click Security Settings, and then select the Encrypt message contents and attachments check box.
  3. Compose your message, and then click Send.

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Encrypt all outgoing messages

When you choose to encrypt all outgoing messages by default, you can write and send messages the same as with any other messages, but all potential recipients must have your digital ID to decode or view your messages.

  1. Click the File tab.
  2. Click Options.
  3. Click Trust Center.
  4. Click Trust Center Settings.
  5. On the E-mail Security tab, under Encrypted e-mail, select the Encrypt contents and attachments for outgoing messages check box.
  6. To change additional settings, such as choosing a specific certificate to use, click Settings.

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Applies to:
Outlook 2010