As you may know, email isn’t as private as you might think. When you are sending email messages to other Brewster email addresses, your messages are protected and safe. But, when you send email messages outside of brewsteracademy.org, it’s rather easy for thieves to intercept and read your messages.
Encryption is the process of encoding messages or information in such a way that only authorized parties can read it. Encryption does not of itself prevent interception, but denies the message content to the interceptor.
To maintain the confidentiality of private information sent via email while ensuring compliance with privacy and financial and health regulations, Brewster utilizes an encryption service through Zix Corporation for a subset of staff who handle Brewster sensitive data. This service will help us protect sensitive information about our students, parents, and staff sent within our email communications
Sensitive information includes…
- Social Security Number
- Passport Number
- Driver‘s License Number
- Taxpayer Identification Number
- Financial Account or Credit Card Number
- Address information, such as street address or email address
vehicle registration number or title number and related information
- Individually Identifiable Health Information relating to the past, present, or future physical or mental health or condition of an individual
- Education records – transcripts, GPA, grades, academic evaluations, attendance, disciplinary records, psychological evaluations
How the Zix service works from Sender’s Perspective
When sending an email to another Brewster email address, whether there is sensitive data or not, Zix will not filter the message because these messages are secured by Google’s encryption.
When sending an email to someone outside the brewstersteracademy.org world, your message will only be encrypted if one or two of the following criteria are met:
- You enter the phrase baencrypted in either the email subject line and/or the email body.
- Your message includes sensitive health or financial data that the Zix service “flags” as confidential.
If you know you are sending sensitive information and want to ensure that it is protected by encryption, just type the word baencrypted in either the subject line or body of your email.
How the Zix service works from Receiver’s Perspective
When receiving an email message that was encrypted by Zix, the message will look like this:
For the end user to see the message that you sent, they will have to click on the “Open Message” button to create an account as seen below:
If the user is a Gmail user, they can simply click the Google button to see your message. If they are not Gmail users, they will have to click the “Register” button to create a password.
Note, this account creation is a one-time action. If you send this outside-user encrypted messages again, they will not have to re-register.
We are committed to protecting BA user information. If you have additional questions or feedback on this service, don’t hesitate to contact the Tech Office.