Email Security

CU does not allow the sending of social security numbers in email.  If you tried to send an email and received an error message stating:
Message not sent. A SSN was detected or number resembling a SSN. Remove number or use encryption.
there is a social security number in your email (or attachment) or a number in the format of a social security number was detected.  Remove
the number and try resending your message. Please note that, in some cases, the computer cannot discern the difference between a ssn
and a harmless 9 digit number (i.e. order numbers, part numbers, reservation numbers), but it is important that we protect our
staff and students from hackers and identity thieves whenever possible.
If you must send a ssn, or any other private and personal information, please send your email encrypted.  This protects the email content
from unwanted eyes.  See below for more information.

How to Use Email Message Encryption

To send an email message encrypted, do the following. The process is the same using Outlook Web or Outlook desktop:

  • Put the words [ENCRYPT] or [PRIVATE] (include the brackets then a space) in the SUBJECT of your email message, any other text can follow, (example):


  • Here is what the recipient of your encrypted email will see (example):

  • They follow the instructions in the email, i.e. save the attachment called 'message.html' and then open it.  Then they will get this screen (example):

    From here they can sign in using their email info (the address the message was sent to). This must be a microsoft account or a work/school account using Office 365.  If the recipient does not have an account with either or chooses not to sign in, they can choose to use a one-time passcode.  This passcode will be emailed to the recipient’s email address and will expire in 15 minutes, they enter the code in the box provided to them on screen:

    Clicking Continue will open the encrypted email for viewing.

    Signing in or using the passcode verifies the recipient is the intended viewer of the encrypted message.
    Additional information on viewing encrypted messages can be found here.
  • Things to know about message encryption
    - The entire message will be encrypted, including all attachments. Maximum total size is 25Mb.
    - IOS (iphone and ipad) and Android users can download an app to view encrypted messages on their mobile devices:
       Download app for IOS        Download app for Android
    - If an encrypted message is replied to or forwarded, the message stays encrypted.

  • If you have any questions or issues with encrypted emails contact the IT Helpdesk at 304-384-5291.