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Your Messages are Encrypted in Office 365

Message Encryption in O365 is service that lets you send encrypted emails to people outside your company. No matter what the destination-Outlook.com, Yahoo, Gmail, Exchange Server, Lotus Notes, GroupWise, Squirrel Mail, you name it - you can send sensitive business communications with an additional level of protection against unauthorized access. There are many business situations where this type of encryption is essential. Here are just a few.

  • A bank sending credit card statements to customers over email.
  • An insurance company providing details about the policy to clients.
  • A mortgage broker requesting financial information from a customer for a loan application.
  • A healthcare provider using encrypted messages to send healthcare information to patients.
  • An attorney sending confidential information to a client or another attorney.
  • A consultant sending a contract to a client.
  • A therapist providing a patient diagnosis to an insurance company.

Office 365 E3 and E4 users will get Office 365 Message Encryption at no extra cost.

Setting up encryption

Administrators set up transport rules to apply Office 365 Message Encryption when emails match specified criteria. Transport rules provide great flexibility and control, and can be managed via a web-based interface or PowerShell.

Setting up the transport rules is simple. Administrators simply select the action to apply encryption or remove encryption in the Exchange admin center.

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You set up Office 365 Message Encryption rules in the Exchange admin center.  

Once the admin sets up the rules, whenever anyone in the company sends a message that matches the conditions, the message is encrypted using Office 365 Message Encryption. The outgoing message is encrypted before it is delivered to the outside mail server to prevent any spoofing or misdirection.

Receiving and responding to encrypted messages

When an external recipient receives an encrypted message from your company, they see an encrypted attachment and an instruction to view the encrypted message.

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The encrypted message appears as an attachment in a message in the recipient’s inbox, with instructions for how to view it. 

You can open the attachment right from your inbox, and the attachment opens in a new browser window. To view the message, you just follow the simple instructions for authenticating via your Office 365 ID or Microsoft Account.

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Once you are authenticated, the content of an encrypted message appears.

The Message Encryption interface, based on Outlook Web App, is modern and easy to navigate. You can easily find information and perform quick tasks such as reply, forward, insert, attach, and so on. As an added measure of protection, when the receiver replies to the sender of the encrypted message or forwards the message, those emails are also encrypted.

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When you reply to an encrypted message you’ve received, your reply is also encrypted.

-gleaned from Office Blogs

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