OSB Professional Liability Fund

Easy DIY Encryption for Emailing Documents

Email Encryption for Lawyers
June 2, 2017
by Hong Dao

There are many ways to encrypt email messages sent to clients or other parties. You can use email encryption software like Trustifi, Virtu, or TitanFile. You can also use secure client portals within practice management software to securely exchange documents with clients. Even Outlook Email allows you to send encrypted email messages using a digital ID.
 
If you’re not using any of the above tools but still want to securely send documents as email attachments to clients and others, here is a simple option: put a password on your document. This isn’t hard to do.
 
If you have Microsoft Word 2010, 2013, or 2017, you can encrypt your document before emailing by following the instructions from the Microsoft Office website, available here. If you want to encrypt a PDF document using Adobe Acrobat, follow these instructions from Adobe.  Other PDF programs, like Nuance Power PDF, should also allow you to encrypt a document.
 
Do not put the password in the same email that contains the document you just encrypted. Instead, give the password to the recipient over the phone.
 
Encrypting your document beforehand is a quick-fix solution that works well for the short term. But if you find yourself routinely sending confidential or sensitive information via email, it’s better to use an email encryption software like those mentioned above.