Email is an inherently insecure communication medium. It is best to use a secure file sharing service approved for the sensitive data type you need to share. See the Sensitive Data Guide for services permitted at U-M.
Avoid sending sensitive information through email. Do not include sensitive information in email subject lines, message text, or in unsecured attachments.
Where appropriate and necessary, you can send some sensitive information in an encrypted password-protected email attachment. Send the encrypted attachment via email and provide the password to the recipient through another communication method, such as a phone call or text message. Do not send the password through email.
Michigan Medicine Email Attachment Encryption
Michigan Medicine Outlook/Exchange users can encrypt email attachments by including [SECURE] in the subject line of their message. Encrypted messages from people at Michigan Medicine are from an @med.umich.edu email address and have an attachment called securedoc.html. Instructions for viewing and saving the attachment, which contains the email text, are included in the email.
See Michigan Medicine's Outlook - Email Encryption (U-M login required) for details about sending and opening encrypted attachments.
UM-Flint Email Attachment Encryption
UM-Flint Outlook/Exchange users can encrypt email attachments by including [encrypt] in the subject line of their message. See Sending Encrypted Emails to Non-University Machines for instructions.
Other File Encryption Options
Many applications offer an encryption/password-protection feature you can use to encrypt a file before sending it. Here are links to instructions and information for a few of them:
- Adobe Acrobat: Securing PDFs with passwords
- Microsoft Office for Mac:
- Microsoft Office for Windows:
- Preview for Mac: Password-protect a PDF in Preview on Mac
- Encrypt using compression software:
For other applications, check the documentation for encryption or password protection.