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To meet HIPAA regulations, all external email communication containing personally identifiable information or confidential data must be encrypted. External email communication includes all emails that are sent to any non-USF Health email addresses. All internal email (within USF Health email address groups) are protected by the firewall and do not require encryption. An example of personally identifiable information is patient information which includes the patient's name, SSN, address, and a variety of medical terms such as their MRN diagnosis or procedure. Follow the steps outlined below to encrypt any external email communication that contains personally identifiable information or other confidential data. See also USFPG policy on Electronic Mail containing PHI.

The following topics are covered:

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Sending an Encrypted Email

  1. Compose your email using Outlook or Webmail.

  2. In the Subject field, in addition to your desired subject text, enter the word encrypt followed immediately by a colon (i.e. Encrypt: Patient Lab Results).

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    The subject field of the email must contain encrypt: (with the colon) or the email will not be encrypted.

  3. Click Send to send your message.
    Recipients outside of the USF Health network will receive a notification via email with instructions on how to view the encrypted email. See Figure 1 below.

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    Email sent to recipients within the USF Health network will not be encrypted.


Figure 1: Notification from Barracuda.

Retrieving an Encrypted Email

  1. Upon receiving an encrypted email notification the recipient would click the Click Here hyperlink in the notification or copy and paste the URL into a browser. 
    The Barracuda account settings page will open. The first time a recipient receives a message from Barracuda, they will be prompted to create a password. See Figure 2 below.

    Figure 2: Create a password to access Barracuda.

  2. Enter a strong password in the New Password field.

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    Password must include one special character and be at least 8 characters long. You will use this password in the future.

  3. Click Done.
    After registering, your inbox will appear. See Figure 3 below.

    Figure 3: Inbox with Encrypted email(s).
     
  4. Double click the corresponding email to select.
    The email will open within the application. See Figure 4 below.

    Figure 4: Displayed encrypted email.
     
  5. Click Log Off on the top right corner, once you are complete.