Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Getting Digitally Signed Messages
Getting Digitally Signed Messages
When you receive a message that has a digital signature, you see an icon in
the upper-right corner of the message; it looks like a little red prize ribbon
that you’d win at the county fair for the best peach preserves.
You don’t need to do anything special when you get a message like that; the
icon itself verifies that the message really came from the person it claims
to have come from. But if you’re unusually curious, you can find out more
about the person who signed the message by clicking the icon and reading
the dialog box that appears. What you see should simply confirm what you
already know: The person who sent the message is exactly who he says
he is — the genuine article, the Real McCoy.
Encrypting Messages
Back in the days of radio, millions of children loved to exchange “secret”
messages that they encoded with Little Orphan Annie’s Secret Decoder
Ring. Outlook does something similar, using a feature called Encryption.
Unfortunately, you don’t get a colorful plastic ring with Outlook. On the other
hand, you don’t have to save your box tops to get one — the decoder is built
right into Outlook.
When you encrypt a message, your system scrambles the contents of your
outgoing message so that only your intended recipient can read your
message. Before you can send someone an encrypted message using Outlook’s
Encryption feature, these criteria have to be met:
Both you and the person to whom you’re sending your encrypted
message need to have a digital certificate, as I describe earlier in
this chapter.
Your intended recipient needs to have sent you at least one message
with a digital signature, which I also describe earlier. That way Outlook
recognizes that person as someone you can trust. Outlook can be pretty
suspicious; even your mother can’t send you an encrypted message
unless you’ve sent her your digital signature first. Can you imagine?
Your own mother! But I digress.
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