Setting an Authentication Challenge Using the Outlook Add-in

Setting up SMS or Q&A two-factor authentication for a secure email

A key step in securing your emails is adding an authentication challenge for your recipient to complete. There are two challenges to choose from currently, one of them being an SMS challenge, and the other a challenge question for your recipient to answer. Both verify the recipient’s identity and ensures any sensitive information ends up in the right hands. 


When you send a secure message using the Mailock Outlook add-in, the following screen will pop up:




The pop-up gives you the option to choose between sending an authentication code via text to your recipient or setting a challenge question and answer. Remember, you can only send an authentication code if you already have the recipient’s mobile number. Otherwise, you will have to choose a challenge question. 


Challenge questions should have an answer that only you and your recipient know. Using information that is easily available through other sources such as social media, or general knowledge questions such as ‘What day of the week is it?’ weakens the security of your message. For more tips on what type of question to choose, click here


Why is this step necessary? Encryption is only the start of providing comprehensive email security. Even if you send an encrypted message, it only prevents people from accessing the content while it is in transit. If someone gains access to your recipient’s mailbox, any sensitive information will be open for them to see. Using authentication is the extra step in ensuring your sensitive data remains protected.


Once a registered recipient has successfully inputted the code sent to their mobile, or answered the challenge question, they are added to your trusted community of verified recipients. 


If your recipient inputs the answer incorrectly 5 times, your message will be automatically revoked, and you will be notified. If you want to give them more attempts to answer, you can do so by opening the email in your sent items, selecting the 'Email was Secure' arrow, 'Show access details' and unticking the revoke box.  


To see what the recipient sees when you send a message, take a look here.