Email has become the de facto standard of communication in lieu of traditional postal mail. Traditional postal mail has a certain level of privacy inherent to it that cannot be replicated with a standard email message. Email has never been an appropriate means to transmitting Personally Identifiable Information (PII) such as FERPA- or HIPPA-related information.
Microsoft now includes a solution to this dilemma. When sending an email you can now choose to apply some protection to the message, such as encrypting it (so that it can't be read if intercepted) or not allowing the recipient to forward the message. Users on ben.edu or another Office 365 hosted email domain will be able to open the email message like normal. Emails sent to users outside of ben.edu or another Office 365 tenant will receive a link to view and reply to the email via a secure portal. Most users will be sent a one-time code when accessing the link while others, like Yahoo!, will be granted to login with their credentials to view the email message.
Email encryption is not needed or recommended for a normal everyday email message but should be used when dealing with PII data such as but not limited to FERPA and HIPPA information. Examples of this type of data would be health records, transcripts, student progress reports, etc.,.
How to Encrypt Emails
For Outlook 2019 and 2016
Open a new email message and select Options > Permissions. Choose the protection level that has the restrictions you want to enforce, such as Encrypt-Only or Do Not Forward. Then compose and send the message as usual.
For Other Versions of Outlook
Open a new email message and select Options | Encrypt. Choose the protection level that has the restrictions you want to enforce, such as Encrypt-Only or Do Not Forward. Then compose and send the message as usual.