Sending encrypted email to any user

To send an encrypted email, just go to our website (https://www.hushmail.com), log in to your Hushmail account, and select ‘Compose’ to start a new email message. All you need to do when you are ready to send it, is making sure that the “Encrypted” checkbox is selected. If you are sending to another email account within the Hushmail network, the checkbox will be checked automatically and you won’t have to do anything else:

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However, if you are sending to someone outside of Hushmail, you can still send encrypted email, but you have to use the shared secret question and answer format to do so:

Sending encrypted email to someone not using Hushmail

When you check the “Encrypted” checkbox, our system will automatically detect if the recipient is outside the Hushmail network and will prompt you to enter a question and answer. We call it the shared secret question and answer because you have to select a question whose answer is known by both you and the recipient. Make sure only the intended recipient can provide the right answer by asking questions specific to that particular person or your relationship with them (for example, “Where did we last meet?” “What is your client/patient ID number?”), as opposed to general knowledge questions that anyone could answer, such as “What is 2+2?”.

So keeping the above in mind, type a question and the answer to that question in the corresponding boxes. Don’t worry too much about your recipient having to type the answer exactly as you did, as answers are not case sensitive (that means that ‘A’ is the same as ‘a’), spaces, periods, commas, and hyphens will be ignored and they’ll have 5 tries before we permanently delete the message from our servers.

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To keep the message encrypted and private, we don’t allow it to leave our secure environment, so when you send your encrypted email, the recipient will receive an email notification from us, letting them know they have an encrypted email from you. This email contains a link to this secure environment (Hushmail Express) where your recepient will need to pick up the message. Important: recipient will have to pick up the message within 14 days of the message being sent, as it will be deleted at that time.

Once in Hushmail Express, your recepient will be asked your question and needs to answer the question correctly in order to read your message:

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Tip: recipients will have the option to create a passphrase for faster access to future encrypted email messages from Hushmail. If they do so, you will not be prompted for a question and answer anymore.

Remember that if you don’t check the encrypt checkbox when sending to an email account outside of Hushmail, we’ll do the best we can to encrypt it anyway. Many other email services support a kind of encryption that protects email messages while they are transferred from one system to another. For example Gmail and Outlook.com generally support this, and we will use that encryption to protect your emails when sending to them. However, it is important to bear in mind that this kind of encryption only protects the email while it is being moved, and not when it is stored on disk.