Message Encryption by Microsoft Office 365

Microsoft Office 365 is a cloud-based suite of productivity tools that includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook. One of the features of Office 365 is message encryption, which allows users to send and receive encrypted emails to protect sensitive information. This article will discuss how message encryption works in Office 365, its benefits, and how to use it.

What is Message Encryption?

Message encryption is the process of converting plain text messages into an unreadable format, so that only the intended recipient can read it. Encryption ensures that sensitive information such as financial data, personal information, and confidential business communication is protected from unauthorized access.

Encryption is achieved through the use of an encryption algorithm, which is a mathematical formula used to scramble the message. The recipient can then decrypt the message using a decryption key, which is a code that reverses the encryption process and makes the message readable.

How Does Message Encryption Work in Office 365?

Office 365 uses a feature called Azure Information Protection (AIP) to encrypt messages. AIP is a cloud-based service that allows users to classify, label, and protect sensitive information. When a user sends an email using Outlook, AIP automatically encrypts the message and any attachments using the recipient's public key, which is stored in a key repository.

When the recipient receives the encrypted message, they can decrypt it using their private key, which is stored securely on their device. The recipient can also view the message in a secure web portal if they do not have access to their device.

What Are the Benefits of Message Encryption in Office 365?

Message encryption in Office 365 provides several benefits:

  • Security: Message encryption ensures that sensitive information is protected from unauthorized access.
  • Compliance: Message encryption helps organizations comply with regulations such as HIPAA, GDPR, and PCI-DSS, which require the protection of sensitive information.
  • Flexibility: Message encryption allows users to send encrypted emails to anyone, regardless of whether they use Office 365 or not.

How to Use Message Encryption in Office 365

Using message encryption in Office 365 is easy:

  1. Open Outlook and compose a new email.
  2. Click on the "Options" tab.
  3. Click on "Encrypt" and select "Encrypt with AIP."
  4. Compose your message and send it as you normally would.

When the recipient receives the message, they will be prompted to authenticate themselves before they can view the message. They can do this by signing in with their email address and password, or by using a one-time passcode if they do not have an Office 365 account.


Message encryption is an essential tool for protecting sensitive information in today's digital age. Office 365's message encryption feature, powered by Azure Information Protection, provides a simple and secure way to encrypt emails and attachments. By using message encryption, organizations can ensure that their sensitive information is protected from unauthorized access and comply with regulatory requirements.

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