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How to Send a Secure E-mail

For Microsoft Outlook users, keep your private e-mail secure from prying eyes. Learn how to encrypt the messages that you only want to share with designated recipients.


  • Step 1: Download a Digital ID Download a Digital ID for Outlook. It certifies to recipients that outgoing messages are unaltered and really came from you.
  • TIP: A Digital ID consists of a private key stored on your computer and a public key sent to your recipients.
  • Step 2: Back up your Digital ID Back up your Digital ID on a USB or other portable drive. If your ID is lost in a hard drive crash, you won't be able to send or receive new encrypted messages.
  • TIP: You can import your Digital ID if you want to read encrypted messages on other computers.
  • Step 3: Compose an Outlook message Compose an Outlook email message. Click the "yellow envelope with a red spot" icon. This sends the Digital ID and message privately to the recipient.
  • Step 4: Encrypt email text Click the "yellow envelope with a blue lock" icon to encrypt e-mail text and attachments, a double-protection process separate from Digital ID-ing.
  • FACT: During World War II, the Marine Corps used an unbreakable secret communications code based on the Navajo Indian language.

You Will Need

  • Internet access
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Digital ID
  • USB or other portable drive

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