Security

Microsoft Outlook rolling out end-to-end encryption to protect business email

Outlook will also ask a user if they wish to encrypt an email if it detects sensitive information, like a bank account number, in the email.

Building a slide deck, pitch, or presentation? Here are the big takeaways:
  • The new Outlook will give users options for how secure you'd like your emails to be.
  • There are also features that would block people receiving your emails from being able to forward or copy the message.

Microsoft is rolling out a series of new security measures in their email program Outlook, including end-to-end encryption. Users will now be able to turn on a feature that will send messages through a secure connection, shielding it from cybercrimnals and hackers.

The features were initially announced via an April 5 blog post, but only recently started rolling out to users.

Two of the biggest changes to Outlook revolve around encryption and forwarding. With an Office 365 subscription, users can send, receive, and download encrypted files and messages, the post said. Users without an account can download files or messages using a passcode.

These encrypted emails cannot be forwarded or copied, and any documents in them will remain encrypted if access by another user without an Office 365 subscription, the post said.

SEE: Windows 10 power tips: Secret shortcuts to your favorite settings (Tech Pro Research)

Microsoft gives you a variety of encryption options both for your own account and messages you receive from other accounts, allowing you to tailor your security features as you'd like. Before this move, Outlook messages were secured through the TLS encryption method, which could not keep messages encrypted once they made it to another person's inbox and could not encrypt attached files.

Outlook has also added a feature where it will automatically ask you if you'd like to encrypt an email if it detects sensitive information in the email such as a bank account number or social security number, the post noted.

Microsoft is revamping many of its keystone services this month, rolling out a new update to Windows 10 on Monday. The "Windows 10 April 2018 Update" adds a number of useful features to the platform while beefing up the security measures and simplifying sharing between PCs and smartphones. Windows Defender Application Guard will allow for better, more secure browsing and the new Timeline feature will allow you to get back to a task you started earlier. Many of the new features are tailored toward businesses as Microsoft shifts focus following the departure of longtime Microsoft VP Terry Myerson, as noted by our sister site ZDNet.

Microsoft and Google are both rolling out massive updates to popular parts of their platforms as both tech giants seek to address current concerns about security and innovate the design and functionality of apps that have been in use for a decade or more. Consumers have been demanding better encryption for emails and tech companies like Apple, Microsoft, and Google have responded with changes to their respective mail services.

The nearly 700 million users of Windows 10 will have the choice to opt in early for the update or delay it.

Also see

outlook.jpg
Image: iStockphoto/Matthew de Lange

About Jonathan Greig

Jonathan Greig is a freelance journalist based in New York City. He recently returned to the United States after reporting from South Africa, Jordan, and Cambodia since 2013.

Editor's Picks

Free Newsletters, In your Inbox