You probably email things to people every day without thinking about potential security concerns.
However, what happens when you need to send something that includes sensitive information? In that case, you’d want to learn how to protect emailed documents with the tips below.
5 Cybersecurity Tips To Protect Your Emailed Documents
1. Safeguard Microsoft Word Documents With Passwords
Microsoft Word is one of the most widely used programs for creating text-based documents. The next time you need to send a Word document through email, protect it with a password first.
While in the program, click the Microsoft Office button and select Prepare. Then, navigate to Encrypt Document and choose a password. Recovering forgotten passwords is impossible, so either write it down somewhere safe or pick one that you’ll easily remember.
2. Encrypt Your PDFs With Built-In Microsoft Office Tools
People frequently send PDFs by email because these documents retain formatting regardless of the setup of the computer used to view them.
Fortunately, spending lots of money on encryption software to protect your PDFs before emailing them isn’t necessary.
Rely on Microsoft Office to export documents as PDFs. When you’re in Word, Excel or PowerPoint, go to the File menu and select Export, then the PDF/XPS option.
When the Save dialog box appears, look near the bottom of it for the checkbox that says “Encrypt the document with a password.”
3. Use Encryption Tools
When you need to send time-sensitive documents or maintain HIPAA compliance for health-related materials, use a service like ReplixDoc. This cloud-based service was built with HIPAA in mind and sends reminder notifications if people you send documents to don’t open them quickly.
You may also want to consider Send Safely. This app integrates with Gmail and Outlook via plugins and keeps the things you distribute through email so well protected that even the company’s employees can’t see them.
4. Tweak Your Microsoft Outlook Settings
If you’re a Microsoft Outlook user concerned about document security, you’ll be glad to know it’s easy to encrypt all outgoing messages automatically.
Go to File, then Options. Find Trust Center and Trust Center Settings.
Then, locate the tab associated with email security and choose Encrypted Email. Put a check in the “Encrypt contents and attachments for outgoing messages” box.
Taking this approach makes email text and attachments appear garbled to unauthorized users.
5. Subscribe to a Protected Email Service
Maybe you’re not up for downloading an app or changing settings as recommended here.
In that case, research the many providers that offer services to keep your emails safe from hackers and concealed to the authorities. These options could be useful if the things you send through email are so significant that you could lose your job or reputation if they get compromised.
For peace of mind when emailing sensitive information, implement these cybersecurity tips today.
Kayla Matthews writes about technology and cybersecurity for publications like The Data Center Journal, VentureBeat, MakeUseOf and The Week. To read more posts from Kayla, follow her blog Productivity Bytes.