How to send personal data securely using email encryption

When sending emails to recipients outside of the University from your staff or generic email account (, it is sometimes difficult to determine if these emails are being accessed using a secure method.  This is particularly important when the information being sent includes personal data or sensitive personal data about individuals.

The security issues that arise from the above can be addressed via email encryption i.e. individual emails can be encrypted by simply typing the following phrase in either the body or the subject line of the email:


You can encrypt messages and their attachments via your preferred method e.g. the Outlook Web App, the Outlook desktop client, or a mobile device.

When you send an encrypted message in the way described below, any reply to your email will also be encrypted i.e. the level of security in the original email is maintained.

Note: given the high level of security that is applied to emails sent between contacts internally within the University, email encryption is not required for internal communications ( email addresses).

How to send and receive encrypted emails from a personal University email address

1. Compose your email as normal and, if relevant, attach data. Before sending, please ensure that the phrase UOC-OME is inserted in either the subject or body of the email Illustrative image   Send the email when you are ready.

2. The recipient will receive an email with an attachment, which they will need to open Illustrative image

3. After downloading and opening the attachment, the recipient will be provided with simple instructions on how to ‘decrypt’ the email and its contents. The instructions will vary, depending on what type of device they have Illustrative image   Illustrative image

4. The recipient will be required to use a 'one-time passcode', which will be sent to the address the email was sent to. On this page there is the option of entering in the passcode which will allow the email to be opened once. Alternatively, if this is the recipient’s personal computer/device, they have the option of securing their access for 12 hours Illustrative image

5. The email and its attachments will presented to the recipient Illustrative image

Sending encrypted email from a shared University email address

If you would like to be able to send encrypted email from a shared University email address, a technical change needs to be made to that email account first.

Please request this via Support Me or SIZ

You may also be interested in how to send protected emails using message permission rules from your University account.

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