In present times encrypting confidential information has become a necessity. Every now and then, we hear horror stories related to data breaches and data theft. Since Outlook is a widely used email client for communication, encrypting any confidential MS Outlook emails is necessary. In this article, we will be covering methods, which can be beneficial for anyone looking for encrypting MS Outlook emails.
In general, encrypting an email simply means converting the plaintext (email message) to a scrambled ciphertext. Decrypting the encrypted message is a straightforward task as only the recipient has the private key that is identical to the public key (that was earlier used to encrypt the plaintext) can decipher the message for further reading. Anyone without this private key will see indecipherable text only. MS Outlook supports the following two encryption options:
With the new Office update, the encryption in Outlook has been improved. For the Office 365 subscribers, the older Permission button is replaced with the Encrypt button. In this section, we will go through the S/MIME and Office 365 Message Encryption methods.
Before getting started, it is required to add a certificate to the keychain on your computer. Once you have set up the signing certificate, you’ll need to configure it in Outlook.
The next step is to share the certificate with your recipients. Prior to sharing the certificate, you must send the recipients a digitally signed message whom you will be sending encrypted email messages in the future. To do so, follow the steps outlined below:
Next, Send the message to the email recipient(s). In the mail body, one can include the instructions so that the recipient(s) to add your certificate to your contact data in their address book, as well as to send you a digitally signed message so you can get the certificate as well.
It is to note that the Public key portion of your certificate is sent, so others too can also encrypt they need to send to you. Due to this, you can decrypt such mails with your Private key.
One can now proceed to send an encrypted email to a recipient. You need their certificate (Public key) to perform this operation. So, if your contacts already have acquired their own encryption certificate and have sent you a digitally signed one from their Outlook client then follow the below-mentioned steps:
Congratulations! Now you are all set to send an encrypted message to this contact.
To send an encrypted mail to follow the below steps:
Caution: The S/MIME encryption method is prone to Message Takeover Attack. This allows the attacker to add their own signatures Impersonating you. It is to note that the attacker can only decrypt the replies to the original mail but not the original email message.
The OME email encryption options let the user send an encrypted email to any Outlook or a third-party email client. This method only works with your Office 365 subscription (Exchange online). The only downside of this method is that the receiver has to perform a couple of extra steps every time they receive an encrypted email message.
To encrypt, follow the steps outlined below:
When you send an encrypted email message suing the OME, your recipient gets an email from you without the actual content but with a link to the email. Upon clicking this link, your receiver will be taken to a webpage where they must sign in with an Outlook work or school account or with a one-time passcode. The former option will only work for those receivers who have an active Office 365 subscription. If your receiver chooses the latter authentication option, it will take them to another webpage. A one-time password will be sent to their registered email account, which they must enter in the provided text box on this webpage.
Due to numerous reasons, your encrypted and password protected Outlook mails can get corrupted in such troubling times, Kernel for Outlook PST Repair could become your beacon of light as it has the capability to repair heavily corrupted encrypted and password protected messages with ease. Alongside it can be used to accomplish various PST related tasks such as PST file repair and recovery of deleted messages and attachments. In addition to this this tool has the capability to save the recovered PST to DBX, MBOX, MSG, EML, TXT, RTF, HTML, and MHTML formats. One can also import the recovered PST files to Office365, email servers, and Web mails. We highly recommend Kernel for Outlook PST Repair for all your PST related needs.
In this article, we have extensively looked at the working of the two most common email encryption methods in Outlook. In the S/MIME encryption method, we have discussed how to add the encryption certificate, which is required prior to sending the encrypted email. The working of the second encryption method, i.e. Office 365 Messages Encryption (OME) is also discussed. Due to numerous reasons the encrypted emails and their attachments can become corrupt. To counter these issues, we have recommended Kernel for Outlook PST Repair, which works like a charm in these dire circumstances.