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Email Encryption – Changes with the move to Exchange Online

Dear Valued Partner,

In today’s world, the protection of sensitive and confidential information is essential for our clients, their employees, and the State of Maine. Starting June 14th, State of Maine will now be using Microsoft Office 365 to encrypt any email that includes information that should be protected. These encrypted emails can be read and replied to securely across any device (mobile phone, tablet, PC, laptop) and across any email application with the use of a Microsoft username and password or a single-use password.

We believe this is a user-friendly solution that minimizes the added steps required for both sending and receiving secure emails.  Here are basic instructions for opening a Microsoft Office 365 Encrypted Email:

  • The MS Office 365 encrypted email will include an attachment, ‘message.html’, that needs to be downloaded and then opened by the recipient.
  • Once the attachment is opened, the recipient will have one or two options to sign-in to Microsoft and view the email:
    • Option 1: Sign in with a Microsoft Account – If the recipient does not already have a Microsoft Account, they can set one up in a few easy steps.

      Important Note:
      The recipient’s email address will become the username for their Microsoft account and the password will be specific to their Microsoft account. This will not change the recipient’s existing email password and will need a one-time setup.

    • Option 2: Use a single-use passcode – Upon selecting this option, the recipient will receive an additional email with the passcode that will need to be used for login.

    Once the recipient has logged in, they will be able to view the email, open any attachments, and reply if needed.

For more information about this change, please click here for an instructional guide on these changes.

If you have any questions on this change, please contact the Commission for assistance at (207) 287-3831.


Maine Public Utilities Commission