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Difference between Signed and Encrypted E-mail RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi All,

           Can someone make me understand what is the difference between signed and encrypted e-mail.  And when are they used?  Thanks in advance.

    Saturday, April 9, 2011 11:59 AM

Answers

  • Encrypt

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    Encrypting a message protects the privacy of the message by converting it from plain, readable text into cipher (scrambled) text. Only the recipient who has the private key (private key: The secret key kept on the sender's computer that the sender uses to digitally sign messages to recipients and to decrypt (unlock) messages from recipients. Private keys should be password protected.) that matches the public key you used to encrypt the message can decipher the message. This is a separate process from digitally signing a message

     

    http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/outlook-help/encrypt-messages-HP006369952.aspx

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    Digital Signed

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    By digitally signing a message, you apply your unique digital mark to the message. The digital signature (digital signature: An electronic, encryption-based, secure stamp of authentication on a macro or document. This signature confirms that the macro or document originated from the signer and has not been altered.) includes your certificate (certificate: A digital means of proving your identity. When you send a digitally signed message you are sending your certificate and public key. Certificates are issued by a certification authority, and like a driver's license, can expire or be revoked.) and public key (public key: The key a sender gives to a recipient so that the recipient can verify the sender's signature and confirm that the message was not altered. Recipients also use the public key to encrypt (lock) e-mail messages to the sender.). This information proves to the recipient that you signed the contents of the message and not an imposter, and that the contents have not been altered in transit.

     

    http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/outlook-help/secure-messages-with-a-digital-signature-HP001230539.aspx

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    Thanks,

    Simon

    • Marked as answer by Serena Li Tuesday, April 19, 2011 7:28 AM
    Tuesday, April 12, 2011 6:06 AM
    Moderator