Email Encryption

Secure email you receive from our agencies is called Microsoft Encrypted Email.

How can I tell if I received an encrypted email?

A Microsoft Encrypted Email will have the statement: "Message encryption by Microsoft Office 365".

You can only read and reply to encrypted emails from our agencies if you have a Microsoft account.

To create a Microsoft account:

  • Go to Microsoft's Create An Account web page.
  • Follow the instructions to create your account.  Your "User Name" must be the email address the encrypted email was sent to.
  • Click the Create account button to completed the form.
    • You will be asked to provide a birthdate. You may use any date.
    • You will need to enter the characters shown in the form.
    • You may uncheck the ‘promotional offers’ box.
  • You will be prompted to verify your email address. You must do this to read the secure message.
  • Microsoft will then send you an email to verify your email address. Click on your email within the body of the message. You have now successfully setup and verified your Microsoft account and are ready to read encrypted messages.
  • You will need to verify your email address. Do this by clicking the Verify your email address link, and then the Send email button.
  • You should now have a verification email in the inbox of the email address you used in the account creation steps. Open this email and click on the verify button.
  • You will be shown the Microsoft verification message saying you are ready to go. You can now decrypt and read emails sent from HHS using this email address.

Alternative to creating a Microsoft Account:

Follow the instructions below to use a One-Time passcode instead of creating a Microsoft account.

  • Open the email and click on the message.html attachment at the bottom of the email.
  • To use the one time pass code click on the one-time passcode link located towards the bottom of the email.
  • Click OK to submit the information.
  • An additional email will be sent to your mailbox with a passcode. This passcode will need to be entered into the Passcode box, then press Continue within 15 minutes of receipt of that email.
  • The email will then be viewable.