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SSL Email certificate

Posted on 2007-04-10
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Last Modified: 2010-03-05
How do I go about encrypiting email. I work for doctors and they are beginning to want to email patient data to specialists for consulting/help with certain cases. While I tell them they shouldn't use email - they pay my salary and I do what I'm told. I've been told to get an email ssl cert for each client. How does that work exactly and how do I get them? Right now, our email is hosted - about 6 accounts.
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Question by:prlit
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by:Alan Huseyin Kayahan
ID: 18882724
             Hi prlit
               Verisign Digital ID is what you need (I use it too, a certificate icon appear in every mail).
              Details and pricing is below.
http://www.verisign.com/products-services/security-services/pki/pki-application/email-digital-id/index.html

Regards
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by:rvthost
ID: 18882981
Digital IDs (S/MIME) are one option, another is PGP.  

The basic idea for any of them is that to send an external person an encrypted email, you must have their public key.  So if you want to send me an encrypted email, you must have my public key in form of my digital ID certificate or my public PGP key.  If you install a Digital ID, you can "sign" your email to me, but you cannot encrypt it.  This link provides a fairly good overview, otherwise just search Experts-Exchange for "encrypting email" and you will get a pile of hits:

http://www.comodo.com/support/products/email_certs/outlook2003.html
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by:prlit
ID: 18884010
I'm trying out Verisigns Digital ID. Does the other person have to have a cert as well?? When I try to send a test message, my options are to cancel the message or unencrypt.
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Expert Comment

by:rvthost
ID: 18884045
Correct, to send an internet user an encrypted message, you must have THEIR public key.  
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Author Comment

by:prlit
ID: 18884061
There's no way to call ahead with a "password" of some sort for them to decrypt the message?
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Expert Comment

by:Alan Huseyin Kayahan
ID: 18884114
              No, other person does not have to have a cert. Your mails are under protection of Verisign and I dont think it can be decrypted.
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by:prlit
ID: 18884125
Is that feasable with something other than verisign?
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rvthost earned 500 total points
ID: 18884489
prlit - No, it's all part of the public/private key infrastructure and it's what allows you to securely send encrypted email.

Review page 4 & 6 which discusses the process a bit:
http://www.verisign.com/stellent/groups/public/documents/guides/005326.pdf


By the way, Thawte offers free email certificates instead of Verisign's paid cert:
http://www.thawte.com/secure-email/personal-email-certificates/index.html
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Expert Comment

by:Alan Huseyin Kayahan
ID: 18888837
              I wouldnt waste my time on things other than Verisign. And by the way, how would people trust to a free email certificate?
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