Using Secure or Encrypted Email With Your Clients


“Secure” or “encrypted” email isn’t your Momma’s email.  It’s email that, as it gets sent, gets turned into a crazy-looking, unreadable code, and then, on the receiver’s end, is transported through a key that returns it to a readable format.

In the United States, doctors, their staff members, hospital staff, insurers / payers and others who are involved in delivering healthcare to patients (called “covered entities” by the government) must be able  promise their patients that any information sent through email is safe and secure, and cannot be retrieved or read by someone who should not be able to retrieve or read it.

But most health advocates are not considered to be covered entities.  Most do not deliver medical care themselves;  they facilitate care between clients and providers.  Of course, some advocates do deliver care, or they are licensed to do so, even if they aren’t not practicing under their licenses (RNs, MDs, NPs, and others.)….

The truth is, a decision about whether to use secure / encrypted email with your clients doesn’t have to ride on legal obligation. For many clients, the idea of using secure email provides peace of mind.  You, as an advocate, may offer to set up secure email simply because it’s a good marketing idea – the one idea that might help a client choose to work with you over another one.

Setting up an encryption system doesn’t have to be difficult nor costly.  In fact, there are free and inexpensive applications that can be added to your current email, or can be used through webmail. 

Here is an article that will help you better understand how security and encryption work.

Here are some programs to look at that will help you set up a security system to use with clients:

Secure Email Programs

We maintain a general list of encrypted email programs in our Tech and Tools Center.

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•  Updated: 9/2020

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