How-To Geek

Encrypt Traffic Between Outlook and Exchange

If you are using Outlook 2003 with a Microsoft Exchange server for your email, typically in a corporate environment, you may be interested to know that you can encrypt all network communications between the Outlook client and the server, to protect against potential hackers sniffing out your email traffic.


First, select Tools and then E-mail Accounts from the dropdown menu:

By default, a wizard screen will pop up with “View or change existing e-mail accounts” selected as the default. Choose next at this screen.

You will see a screen with your E-mail Accounts here. Select the one that says “Microsoft Exchange Server”, and then click the Change button:

Click the More Settings button on the next page:

Click the Security tab on the next page and you will see this screen:


Make sure that you check the “Encrypt data” checkbox. This will ensure that all communications between the Outlook client and the Exchange server are encrypted.

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 11/20/06

Comments (5)

  1. Eric Christensen

    Does anyone know what kind of encryption this is and how secure it is?

  2. Pierre Axiaq

    In addition to Eric Christensen comment, what additional load does the server have if this option is enabled?

  3. Conor McKeown

    Is there a corresponding setting on the Exchange server to disable this encryption if I don’t want it activated even if the user has checked the box in Outlook?



  4. B. Hamilton


    In Outlook’s Help file this is what it says about Ecryption of Messages: Whether or not this is just from Outlook to Exchange or from Outlook to the Internet it doesn’t say.

    3DES is the default encryption algorithm. Encryption strength is no longer restricted by the United States government. Microsoft Outlook uses the RC2 algorithm by default when running on a 40-bit operating system that does not have 128-bit encryption capabilities.

    3DES An encryption algorithm based on the Data Encryption Standard (DES). Triple DES (3DES) repeats DES three times. Consequently, 3DES runs slower than standard DES. However, it is more secure.

  5. sae

    nice one.

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