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What is encryption?

Encryption involves encrypting, or disguising, the content of data in order to protect potentially sensitive information from being read by anyone other than intended recipients.

Email Encryption

Email is a vulnerable medium, particularly when emails are sent over unsecured, or public, Wi-Fi networks.

What encryption types are available to me and what do they mean?

  • Outlook Mail desktop client
    • Encrypt-Only
    • Do Not Forward
    • Selkirk College - Confidential
    • Selkirk College - Confidential View Only

  • Outlook on the web (OWA) 
    • Do Not Forward
    • Encrypt
    • Confidential
    • Confidential View Only

Encrypt Only: The message is encrypted but no restrictions are placed on the message.
Do Not Forward: Only the recipients of the email or document (data file) will be able to view and reply. They cannot forward or share with other people or print. Even if someone you did not specifically give permission to access the file gets it, he or she will not be able to view the contents, because the policy is checked upon opening and the information is encrypted the entire time.
Confidential: Only people in Selkirk College's Microsoft Office 365 environment can view the content, make edits, and share with others inside Selkirk College's Microsoft Office 365 environment.
Confidential View Only: Only people in Selkirk College's Microsoft Office 365 environment can view this content but cannot edit or change it in any way. They can share with others inside Selkirk College's Microsoft Office 365 environment.

Are my Attachments Encrypted?

Yes, attachments are encrypted (or secure) when included in an encrypted email.

Enabling encryption options:

Outlook Client

Outlook on the Web (OWA)

How can an external recipient open the encrypted message?

When the encrypted message arrives in the external recipient's mailbox they will need to click on the "Read the message" button where it will redirect them to the secure portal.

The secure portal will give the recipient two options to view the encrypted message.

  1. Sign in with their existing email provider's email address and password.
    The recipient may be prompted by their email provider to agree to a small disclosure for access.

  2. Once the recipient enters the one-time passcode, they will also have the option to select "This is a private computer. Keep me signed in for 12 hours."

  3. Sign in with a one-time passcode (the passcode will be sent to the recipient's Inbox). Please note there is an expiration limit of 15 minutes.

*We sent a one-time passcode to*

How can a recipient of an Encrypted message reply after viewing the encrypted message?

Once the user has authenticated with either their social ID (email provider) or a one-time passcode, they will have the ability to view the encrypted message and reply within the secure portal.

If the sender selected Do Not Forward when sending the encrypted message, the Forward and Print options will be grayed out.


Do encrypted messages always have to be viewed via the O365 secure portal?

Yes, to view the content they will always be redirected to the secure portal no matter what option they select.

Do messages remain Encrypted after a recipient forwards the encrypted message?

Yes. In order to allow the new recipient of the forwarded message to successfully view the secure message, the forwarder needs to ensure the forward action is done inside of the secure portal where they can see the encrypted message. The forwarder will get a notification when performing this action.

*If the forwarder does not forward the message via the secure portal and decides to forward the encrypted notification, the forwarded recipient will not be able to view the encrypted message.