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Encrypting your emailEncrypting your email? Do you? Should you? How to?

Unless you have been living in a cave for the past few months and especially the last couple of weeks, you can’t possibly have escaped the juggernaut that is GDPR.

Most business people I know from Accountants to Property Companies to Trainers and VAs are getting their act together to comply with the new rules.

Although many of the rules are a tightening up of rules that were already in place and make good business sense too.

Re-subscribe to give Consent

I don’t know about you, I have had a plethora of emails asking me to re-subscribe to this mailing list or that. You know all those newsletters that you thought you would one day get around to reading and never did? What a great opportunity to ignore them and get removed from their lists.

Only re-subscribing to the ones that you really want.

The reason for the scramble is to get your Consent – you can read what the ICO ( Information Commissioner’s Office) says about Consent here.


Then there is that thorny issue of encrypting your email. Should you just encrypt everything? Only confidential things? And then How to do it? Is it built in to Outlook or whatever email client you use?

Outlook Encryption

I can only talk about encryption in Outlook and then when you are using a business package that includes an Exchange Server Plan, like the Small Business or Business versions.

To enable Encryption, you will need:

  • Office 365 Business plan
  • Exchange included
  • Azure Information Rights Protection
  • Set up Mail Flow Rules

What if I use a Mac

You will need exactly the same set up if you are a Mac user.

What is Azure Information Rights Protection?

Azure Information Protection (sometimes referred to as AIP) is a cloud-based solution that helps an organization to classify, label, and protect its documents and emails. This can be done automatically by administrators who define rules and conditions, manually by users, or a combination where users are given recommendations which have been set up by administrators.

What do I need to do?

First you will need to have an Office 365 subscription that includes an Exchange server option. Exchange is your online post office and directs your email to your Inbox and to your recipients Inboxes. It will have been set up as part of your Office 365 setup process to receive  and send email to your business email address.

Secondly – you will need to buy the Azure Information Rights Protection Add on for Office 365 it costs about $2 or £1.50 per month.

You will need to set it up and download a client to any Windows machines you are using.

Thirdly – you will need to set up Mail Flow Rules in the Exchange online Admin Centre. Mail Flow rules tell Exchange when to encrypt and when to apply do not forward.

You can set the Mail Flow Rules to look for specific words in the subject or body of your email and apply the correct template automatically.

Mac users

For email encryption of email sent on a Mac – you need to be using your Office 365 email account and the Mail Flow rules need to have been set up. The Mail Flow rules will apply automatically in the background as soon as you create an email that has one of the trigger conditions.

You will not need to download the client to the Mac , in fact it is Windows only.

For step by step instructions of how to do all of this and set it up, go and get my course:

Encrypt your email with Office 365

Encrypt your email with Office 365 Small Business Premium


Encrypting your email? Do you? Should you? How to?