Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Increasing email security
As your email messages travel from server to server en route to you or other message
recipients, they are vulnerable to interception by hackers and others who are intent on
viewing them. With Outlook 2013, you can safeguard your messages in several ways, including
implementing digital signatures, encryption, plain text messages, and Information Rights
Management (IRM). In certain corporate environments, particularly those such as legal firms
and accounting firms that handle sensitive data, specific email security procedures might be
mandated and enforced at a server level. In the absence of such guidance, only you can
decide whether any of these additional security measures are appropriate for your situation.
Digital signatures
When sending messages, you can reassure message recipients that they are receiving valid
messages from you by using a digital signature—a piece of code that validates the identity
of a message sender (not the actual person, but the email account and computer from
which the message originates).
Obtaining a digital ID
To send digitally signed or encrypted messages over the Internet, you must obtain a digital
ID (a security certificate). The first time you try to digitally sign or encrypt a message
without having a valid digital ID installed on your computer, Outlook prompts you to obtain
one. If you prefer, you can obtain one before you need it. You can obtain a digital ID from
an independent certification authority, from your organization’s IT department, or you can
create one for yourself. Each certification level connotes a different level of trust; the
highest is that of an independent certification authority.
Obtaining some types of digital IDs, such as those used to certify the source of software
programs, involves a stringent application process that can take weeks to complete. However,
applying for a commercial security certificate to certify documents and email messages is
a relatively simple process. Many US and international certification companies offer digital
IDs to certify email. You’ll probably be most comfortable purchasing a certificate in your
native currency. Regardless of the location of the certification authority, the digital ID is valid
worldwide.
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