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How to digitally sign and encrypt emails using Mac Mail (Apple Mail) for Class 1 Digital ID Certificates

Problem

How to digitally sign and encrypt emails using Mac Mail or Apple Mail for Class 1 Digital ID Certificates

Solution

* Note:  Please ensure that you have properly installed your Class 1 Digital ID Certificates by following the solution at SO9659.

Sending a signed message

To send a signed message, you only need a private key for the sending email address. A signed message offers a lower level of security than an encrypted message, but a greater level of security than an unsigned message.

In the Compose window:



  • means the message will be signed


  • means the message will not be signed


A signed message includes this line above the body of the message:



Sending an encrypted message

You can encrypt a message if you have:

  • the private key of the sending email address
  • the public key of each recipient


An encrypted message offers a better level of security than a signed message. Once the appropriate certificates are available, a lock button appears in the Compose window (see below). It allows you to securely encrypt the message. Important: The message is encrypted only if you have the public key of the recipient.

Encrypted messages are saved in your Sent mailbox as an encrypted message.

In the Compose window:



  • means the message will be encrypted


  • means the message will not be encrypted


Importing another person's public certificate (key)

Importing another person's public key is easy. Just view a signed or encrypted message and Mail will automatically import the person's public key. You can use Keychain Access to view or edit it.

* Note:  This solution was taken directly from Apple Support http://support.apple.com/kb/TA22353?viewlocale=en_US