Encryption in Outlook for Microsoft 365 screenshot

How to encrypt emails in Outlook for Microsoft 365 

Email is one of the most popular digital tools for communication, marketing and so on. In addition to bringing together millions of individuals worldwide, it has also grown to be an indispensable aspect for both personal and professional life; consequently, hackers perceive that as a chance to steal your private information, so it is important to protect the email messages that you send against unknow and sophisticated attacks. 

What are the options? 

Outlook for Microsoft 365 offers two encryption methods:  The S/MIME encryption which requires that both the sender and the recipient use a mail program that complies with the S/MIME standard. Outlook is S/MIME-compatible.  

The other method is the Microsoft 365 Message Encryption. It is part of the Information Rights Management feature, and we will cover the steps on this post.  

The Information Rights Management is the technology that will allow IT admins to enforce policies that protect sensitive information, restrict content, or set expiration dates for certain documents. If you want to check more information about it click here. 

How to encrypt a message? 

Important: You should have the Microsoft 365 Message Encryption feature that is included in the Office 365 Enterprise E3 license.

To encrypt a message, follow the steps below: 

  • Open a new message window 

Outlook tool bar screenshot for how to encrypt emails in Outlook

  • Go to the Options section and select Encrypt 

Outlook toolbar with the Options section selected for how to encrypt emails in Outlook

  • Choose the option that has the restrictions you want to enforce, such as Encrypt-Only or Do Not Forward. You can start writing your email content as usual once you have selected the desired option.

Outlook toolbar screenshot with the encrypt option selected for how to encrypt emails in Outlook blogpost

Quick note: About the presented options, Encrypt-Only will secure the email communication, but still allows the message to be forwarded, copied, or printed.

For the Do Not Forward option, the message is encrypted, and it will prevent the recipients from forwarding the email message to others. If there are any Microsoft documents attached such as PowerPoint presentations or Excel Files, they are protected as well and will continue encrypted after being downloaded.  

When should I encrypt a message? 

The recommendation is to protect sensitive information, some examples are listed below: 

  • When you are sharing Credit Card details 
  • When you are sending Passport, Visas, or any other ID documents 
  • When you are attaching Legal documents 

Team Venti’s Microsoft 365 migration, consulting, and support services include maximizing your subscription and 24/7 critical admin support. Some of their services also include end-user or admin training. To start taking full advantage of your Microsoft 365 subscription or to start your journey with Team Venti, please contact one of their experts today.

Gianelli Gonzalez is a Computer Science Engineer. She worked at Team Venti for 4 years, designing and implementing projects based on Microsoft Cloud Solutions. Her main responsibilities consisted in providing support of Microsoft 365, Windows, and EMS services to our customers.

She is now studying her master’s degree in Digital Marketing in France, but her passion for what she does led her to create two insightful blogs about Enterprise Mobility and Microsoft Cloud Solutions. Gianelli will be collaborating with us for a series of articles in our blog talking from her expertise in this field.

Don’t forget to check out her blogs: