Virtru: Added Security for Your Kean Email

What is Virtru?


Virtru data encryption protects your data as it travels through email and file-sharing platforms. Virtru adds a seamless and essential layer of protection for your mail applications, including Kean Google and Microsoft Exchange. Virtru allows you to maintain control over messages wherever they’re shared and with whomever they are shared.


Enabling Virtru on your inbox allows you to have your data and communications across mailing apps encrypted between you and the receiving parties. With features including encryption, the ability to revoke email access at any time, and file protection; you will be able to send trusted communications to your fellow students, faculty, and staff members.

When do I use Virtru?

You do not need to encrypt all your email. We recommend that you encrypt emails for which you want to control access or that contain sensitive information. Here are some examples of information you might send in email with Virtru encryption:

  • Personally identifiable information (PII) such as name, birth date, and address
  • An Excel spreadsheet with names, usernames or Kean ID numbers of members of the Kean community
  • Grades and other student education records

Is there anything I shouldn't send using Virtru?


It depends. Even with encryption, there’s still information that you may not want to send by email depending on your departmental, institutional, or other affiliate security requirements. Here are some possible examples:

  • Social Security numbers
  • Credit card numbers
  • Information that may cause legal issues - encrypted email is still legally discoverable


How can I encrypt my emails? Is it difficult?


The links below will get you started with Virtru. You can use Virtru when sending email in Chrome browser and on iOS / Android smartphones and tablets. We chose Virtru because it is intuitive and easy to use compared to other methods of encrypting email, especially when sending email to and from others at Kean University. 


Please note that Virtru requires activation on each mobile device or computer that you will be using to access your email. In addition, if you use both email clients, Virtru will need to be activated for each one. For example, if you've activated it on your work computer, you will also need to activate it on the computer you use at home. if you use both Outlook and Gmail, you will have to activate it in each mail client and on each device.


Someone sent me an encrypted email with Virtru. How can I read it?


If this is your first time using Virtru, you will see prompts to follow. You do not need to install anything to read an email; you can click the button to validate your email and read the email on Virtru’s site. However, if you receive encrypted email frequently, we recommend installing the plugin (computer) or app (phone/tablet) to read encrypted email more easily.


Should I use Virtru for all my email?


We do not recommend it. Most members of the Kean community do not need to encrypt every email. In theory, encrypting all of your email sounds like a good idea. However, it will create an extra step for your recipients and make it more difficult for you to read your sent emails. For that reason, we recommend only encrypting emails with confidential information, or emails for which you want to control access.

Here are some examples of when you could use Virtru:

  • Personally identifiable information (PII) that does not include a full social security number (for example: name, birthday, and address)
  • An Excel spreadsheet with names and IDs of Kean community members
  • Concerns about academic performance, such as communication between a faculty member and a student


What does Virtru protect against?

Since Kean Google already encrypts email in transit, the most important feature of Virtru is access control. When sending encrypted email, you can also prevent a forwarded email from being read, set a read expiration, and revoke the ability to read an email after it is sent. Virtru’s end-to-end encryption can also protect you when you’re sending to external recipients who may have insecure email systems.


Once I install Virtru, is encryption on by default?


Not exactly. Virtru remembers the setting from the last email you sent. If you send an encrypted email, the Virtru slider will be toggled on for your next email. Likewise, if you send an unencrypted email, the Virtru slider will be toggled off for your next email.


Are attachments encrypted?




Can I send encrypted email to non-Kean addresses? 


Yes, you can send encrypted email to any address.


Can I read encrypted mail on a mobile device?


Yes, an app is available for iPhone / iPad and Android.


If I revoke access to an email, what do recipients see?


The email will still appear in their inbox, but when they open it, they will not be able to read the content; they will see a message indicating that access has been revoked.


Is there a difference if I send email to a address vs. someone outside of Kean?

 Yes, though you can send to any email address, it’s easier for other members of the Kean community to read your encrypted email. Members of the Kean community can install the Virtru plugin and easily read your encrypted email inline because we are in the same email domain. Addresses outside of Kean will be required to click to read your email on the Virtru site. 



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