Get a digital ID

A digital ID enables you to send digitally signed messages using Microsoft Outlook. A digital ID, that is also known as a digital certificate, helps prove your identity and helps prevent message tampering to protect the authenticity of an email message. You can also encrypt messages for greater privacy.

 Note    A digital signature isn’t the same as a message signature, which is a customizable salutation. A digital signature adds unique code to a message which only comes from the digital ID held by the true sender.

Get a digital ID for sending messages

Get a digital ID from a certifying authority

A digital ID is issued by an independent certification authority.

  1. Click the File tab.
  2. Click Options.
  3. Click Trust Center.
  4. Under Microsoft Outlook Trust Center, click Trust Center Settings.
  5. On the E-mail Security tab, under Digital IDs (Certificates), click Get a Digital ID.

Your organization may have policies that require a different procedure. See the network administrator for more information.

Your web browser opens and displays a webpage on the Microsoft Office Online Web site that lists several certification authorities. Click the one that you want to use and follow the instructions on the webpage to register for a digital ID. The certification authority will then send you a digital ID and instructions via email. You can also look here to find other sources of digital certificates.

Specify the digital ID to use

You might choose to have more than one digital ID — one for your digital signature, which in many areas can have legal significance, and another for encryption.

  1. Click the File tab.
  2. Click Options.
  3. Click Trust Center.
  4. Under Microsoft Outlook Trust Center, click Trust Center Settings.
  5. On the E-mail Security tab, under Encrypted e-mail, click Settings.

 Note    If you have a digital ID, the settings to use the digital ID are automatically configured for you. If you want to use a different digital ID, follow the remaining steps in this procedure.

  1. Under Security Setting Preferences, click New.
  2. In the Security Settings Name box, enter a name.
  3. In the Cryptography Format list, click S/MIME. Depending on your certificate type, you can choose Exchange Security instead.
  4. Next to the Signing Certificate box, click Choose, and then select a certificate that is valid for digital signing.

 Note    To learn if the certificate is intended for digital signing and encryption, on the Select Certificate dialog box, click View Certificate. An appropriate certificate for cryptographic messaging (such as digital signing) might say, for example, "Protects email messages."

  1. Select the Send these certificates with signed messages check box unless you'll be sending and receiving signed messages only within your organization.

 Note    The settings that you choose become the default when you send cryptographic messages. If you don’t want these settings to be used by default for all cryptographic messages, clear the Default Security Setting for this cryptographic message format check box.

Add a recipient's digital ID to your Contacts

To send and receive encrypted email messages, both sender and receiver must share their digital ID certificates with the other.

  1. Open a message that is digitally signed. A signed message is indicated in the message list (message list: The middle part of the main Outlook window that displays the contents of the selected folder.) by a Signature icon.
  2. Right-click the name in the From box, and then click Add to Outlook Contacts.
  3. If you already have an entry for this person, in the Duplicate Contact Detected dialog box, select Update information of selected Contact. A backup copy is saved in Deleted Items Folder.

The certificate is now stored with your contact entry for this recipient. You can now send encrypted messages to this person.

To view the certificate for a contact, double-click the person's name, and then click the Certificates tab.

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Get a digital ID for sending messages using Microsoft Exchange

 Note    This feature requires a Microsoft Exchange Server account.

To get an Exchange Server digital ID — for example, through Key Management Service — the administrator of your Exchange account must have security running on the server and give you a special password, which is known as a token. For more information, see your Exchange administrator.

  1. Click the File tab.
  2. Click Options.
  3. Click Trust Center.
  4. Under Microsoft Outlook Trust Center, click Trust Center Settings.
  5. On the E-mail Security tab, under Digital IDs (Certificates), click Get a Digital ID.
  6. Click Set up Security for me on the Exchange.
  7. Click OK.
  8. In the Digital ID Name box, type your name.
  9. In the Token box, type the special password that your Exchange administrator assigned to you.
  10. In the Microsoft Office Outlook Security Password dialog box, type a different password for the digital ID, and then type the password again in the Confirm box.

You'll receive a message in your Inbox from the Exchange administrator which requires you to enter the password created in this step.

  1. In the dialog box that appears, enter your password, click the Remember password for check box, and then enter the number of minutes for which you want Outlook to remember your password.
  2. In the Root Certificate Store message that appears, click Yes.

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Applies to:
Outlook 2010