Microsoft Outlook: Encrypt Emails Sent Through Outlook


Encryption ensures that protected or sensitive information is not intercepted during email transmission, thus protecting you and the university from potentially costly and reputation-damaging data breaches.

Recommend Types of Emails to Encrypt

Any university email that contains the following protected or sensitive information must be encrypted:

  • Protected health information (i.e., patient record information)
  • Personally identifiable information (i.e., Social Security Number)
  • Credit card information
  • Any information protected by governmental or institutional regulations

Send an Encrypted Email

To send an encrypted message, use the word "encrypt" (without quotations) in the email's subject line and send the message as usual.

View an Encrypted Email

University of Tennessee Email Users

With the new encrypt experience, the message will display on-screen with a banner at the top of the message indicating that it is encrypted. Any replies to the message will also be encrypted.

External Email Users (Other schools, organizations, or personal email accounts)

External email users will continue to receive an email with a link to view the email.

  1. Click the button in the message that says, Read the Message.
  2. Click Sign in with a one-time passcode
  3. Go back to your Inbox, open the new message with the subject "Your one-time passcode to view the message," then copy/paste the passcode into your previously opened browser tab and click Continue
  4. Once you pass authentication, the message will display in the browser.

June 1, 2022 Updates to Encrypt

On June 1, 2022, Microsoft changed the functionality when you use encrypt in the subject of your emails to secure your messages sent from Microsoft 365. 

Some of the benefits of the new functionality include: 

  • Incorporating a native inline experience for Microsoft 365 recipients 
  • Seeing the banner at the top of all secure messages indicates that it is encrypted. 
  • Sending automated messages securely from systems and applications, such as Argos and Banner
  • Access for external recipients through Microsoft's portal; no download or app is required.  

One of the drawbacks of Microsoft's new encryption platform is that this functionality will not work for UT faculty, staff, and students who use UT's Gmail as their preferred mailbox. We recommend using Vault when sending secure messages to those users.   

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Article ID: 118205
Tue 10/13/20 9:13 AM
Thu 6/29/23 12:12 PM
Microsoft Outlook