Encrypting Emails, Microsoft Office and PDF Documents


In some cases, you may need to send documents or emails using encryption, also known as password protection. This secure format requires recipients to enter a password to view the document or email they received.


Encrypting emails

Sending an encrypted email

  1. Go to duq.edu/mail and sign into your University email account.
  2. When drafting a new message, click Encrypt along the top menu.
  3. A message will appear above the From field that reads "Encrypt: This message is encrypted. Recipients can't remove encryption."
  4. After you are finished drafting your message, click Send.

Receiving an encrypted email

  1. If someone sends you an encrypted email, you will receive an email stating they have sent you a protected message. Click Read the message.
  2. When prompted to sign in to view the message, either sign in with your third-party account (if applicable) or click sign in with a one-time passcode.
  3. If signing in with a one-time passcode, an email containing your passcode will be sent to the same address the encrypted email was sent to.
  4. After you receive your passcode, type it in the passcode field and click Continue.You will now be able to view the encrypted message.

Encrypting Microsoft Office documents

Before encrypting a document, we encourage you to save a copy of the document. If you encrypt a document and then forget the password, you will not be able to access the document.

  1. In Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint or Access, click File in the top left corner.
  2. On the Info tab, click Protect Document and then click Encrypt with password.
  3. Enter the password you want to use to encrypt the document and click OK.
  4. Enter the password again to confirm it and click OK.
  5. You will now see a message stating the document is protected and a password is required to open it. Save the document.

Encrypting PDF documents

Note: You must use Adobe Acrobat DC to encrypt PDF documents. Adobe Reader DC does not support this feature.

  1. Click Protect located in the tools panel on the left side of the screen. If you do not see Protect, click More Tools.
  2. In the Protect menu, click Advanced Options and then click Encrypt with Password.
  3. If you are prompted to confirm apply new security settings, click Yes.
  4. Select require a password to open the document, enter a password and click OK.
  5. Enter the password again to confirm it and click OK.
  6. Click OK on the Acrobat security pop-up and then save the document.

You can also restrict printing and editing of a PDF document. To do so, repeat steps 1-3 listed above and then:

  1. Select Restrict editing and printing of the document, select the level of permissions you want to set, enter a password and click OK. This password must be different from the password required to open the document.
  2. Enter the permissions password again to confirm it and click OK.
  3. Click OK on the Acrobat security pop-up and then save the document.


Sharing passwords for encrypted documents

Please do not email the password for an encrypted document to the recipient. We recommend using one of the following methods to share the password:

  • In-person: Share the password verbally with the recipient.
  • Telephone or video call: Call the recipient and provide the password.
  • Text message: Send the recipient the password via a text message.


Print Article


Article ID: 20
Wed 10/19/22 12:04 PM
Mon 7/10/23 5:14 PM

Related Services / Offerings (7)

Software developed by Adobe Inc. used to view, create, manipulate, print and manage files in portable document format (PDF).
A subscription-based software package developed by Adobe Inc. that provides access to software used for graphic design, video editing, web development, photography and accessible PDF file creation.
Students, faculty and staff receive University email account through our Microsoft Office 365 subscription, which provides access to email, calendaring and other collaboration tools.
Students and employees can download Microsoft Office for free on a maximum of five personally owned devices.
University students and employees receive an annual print balance of $90.
Computing and Technology Services (CTS) licenses and supports a variety of software products.
Academic offices and departments can scan, copy and email documents using Xerox multi-function copiers.