Email Encryption at Emerson

For Data Privacy Month, we’d like to share a little-known feature of our spam filtering software: outbound email encryption. This can protect sensitive information from being viewed by third parties.

Anyone with an @emerson.edu address can explicitly encrypt the content of an email by typing [ENCRYPT] into the subject line, like so:

encrypt-subject-line

There’s no way to enable this for all of your email by default, and it does not encrypt or hide whom you’re sending mail to or where you’re sending mail from. This simply encrypts the contents, or body, of your email message, including attachments. Also, it only encrypts messages being sent to a non-Emerson email address. You can’t encrypt a message sent between @emerson.edu addresses.

Once sent, your message will not be delivered to the intended recipient right away. Instead, they’ll receive a notice that they were sent “Secure Mail” from your address. If they’ve never registered for our secure mail service before, the message looks like this (click on the image to see it full-size):

 

Click to see full size.

 

Your recipient can then sign up on our local MailSafe server, unique to Emerson College. The account they set up will be used to open all encrypted emails they receive from Emerson.

If they’ve already signed up, the message looks like this (click on the image to see it full-size):

 

Click to see full size.

 

All encrypted emails are sent as PDFs with the recipient’s MailSafe password protecting them. Encrypted attachments can only be extracted from the PDF using Adobe Acrobat Reader 7 or above.

If you have any questions about how to use this service, please do not hesitate to put in a support request or call 617-824-8080. A guide version of this blog post can be viewed here.

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