How to send encrypted email from your Mac

Email exchange is often a security issue, and providers take care of the security of the emails you send and receive. However, email encryption is something that may not be available in all email services you use. If you want to secure your email even more, you may want to use it in your email clients.

As long as you’re on a Mac, you can send encrypted email from your built-in email client.

The built-in Mail app lets you encrypt your emails before they’re sent. This encryption process actually requires you to install an email certificate on your Mac. This certificate can be obtained from any of the available online providers. There is even a free service that gives you this certificate for free.

Once all set up, you can send encrypted email from the Mail app on your Mac. The content of these emails will be encrypted which means that if someone manages to get access to these emails, all they can read is the jumbled text on their screen which makes no sense. chief.

Get a free email encryption certificate for your email address

The first thing you need to do is get a certificate from one of the online providers. This certificate will then be used to authenticate emails you send from the Mail app on your Mac.

While you can use any service to get the certificate, currently the service mentioned below offers you a free service to use for your personal emails.

  • Open a browser and go to the Actalis website. Once you’re there, find and click the link that says Free S/MIME Certificate.
Web form requesting certificate
  • A form to request a certificate will appear on your screen. You need to fill it with your personal information. Enter your email address Email field and click Send verification email button.
Free email certificate form
  • You will receive an email with a code. Copy the code from your email.
Code in email
  • Go back to the form page and paste the code in Verification field. Then enter captcha, tick the required boxes and click Send suggestions at the bottom.
  • The following screen will show the password for your certificate. You want to make a note of it because it won’t appear anymore.
Password display

Your email certificate application has been submitted. You will soon receive an email with your certificate attached.

Install a free email certificate on your Mac

Once you’ve received the certificate, you’ll need to install it in the Keychain app on your Mac. It will then let you use it in the Mail app to send encrypted emails from your Mac.

  • Download the certificate .zip file from the email and extract its contents to your Mac.
  • Double-click the extracted certificate file to install it on your machine.
Email certificate file on Desktop
  • It will ask you to enter the password for the certificate. Enter the password that you wrote down when you signed up for the certificate. Then hit ALRIGHT to continue.
Enter password prompt

The certificate will be added to the app, however, you won’t get any notifications on your screen.

Confirm the certificate is indeed installed in the keychain

If you want to verify the certificate installation went well, you can do so by launching Keychain and accessing your certificate.

  • Click Launcherssearch Keychain Accessand click it. It will open.
Accessing keychains in the Space Bar
  • On the main interface, select My certificate from the left sidebar and it will let you see your installed certificates.
  • You will see your newly installed email certificate in the right hand pane.
List of my certificates

It says the certificate has been successfully installed on your Mac.

Send encrypted email from your Mac mail app

Now that the certificate is installed and you’ve verified it, you’re ready to start sending encrypted outgoing emails from the Mail app on your machine. There is no other configuration and all you need to do is basically compose a new email and send it out.

If you already have the Mail app open, you’ll want to close it before following these steps.

  • Launch Letters application using your preferred way on your Mac.
Messages in the Search Bar
  • To compose a new encrypted email, click File at the top and select A new message right to buy.
File > New Message” class=”wp-image-8670″  /></figure>
<li>A new email compose window will open.  Enter your recipient’s email address in <strong>Arrive</strong> field, enter the subject, enter the email body, and before you hit that send button, click the checkmark icon and make sure it’s blue.</li>
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Blue checkbox in email window
The padlock and the blue checkbox in the email window

The email you just composed will first be encrypted with your certificate and then sent to the recipient.

Send an unencrypted email from your Mac

You don’t have to send encrypted email just because you have a certificate installed on your machine. You can still send and receive regular email.

  • Just compose a new email and don’t enable the lock icon and check mark.
Email is not encrypted and not certified

Your email will then be sent as a regular email with no encryption applied to it.

Remove email encryption certificates from your Mac

If you no longer want to use your certificate, or if you plan to replace it with a new one, you may want to remove it from your Mac.

  • Launch Keychains application.
  • Locate your certificate just like you did in one of the sections above.
  • Right click on your certificate and select Delete.
Right click on delete certificate menu

You will no longer be able to send encrypted email from your Mac.

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