How to email secure documents

Did you know you can email secure documents using password protection, document sharing software, email encryption, or attachment encryption?

The possibilities are endless! 

You can also encrypt or password-protect docs before attaching them, or add an extra layer of security after attaching and before sending.

If you’re wondering how to email secure documents, here’s a step-by-step guide to help you. 

How to email documents securely: Five reliable ways

The best way to email documents securely generally depends on the file type and the email provider you’re using. 

Here are five of the most reliable ways to securely email the most common document types.

1. Create password-protected PDFs

PDFs are one of the most secure file types, as without specialist software it’s hard to edit them.

They’re even more secure when you password-protect them.

Here’s how to do that on various software using Microsoft Office:

  1. Open the file.
  2. Go into the “File” menu, and select “Save As”.
  3. In the “Save as” menu, click “PDF”.
  4. Select “More options”.
  5. Click “Options” again.
  6. Click “Encrypt the document with a password”.
  7. Choose a password, type it in, and confirm your choice.

If your file is already a PDF, the process is similar but shorter.

  1. Select “File”.
  2. Select “Info”.
  3. Click “Protect Document”.
  4. Select “Encrypt with password”.
  5. Pick a password, type it, and confirm it.

If you don’t want to turn your document into a PDF, don’t worry.

You can also password protect a Word document or other file types using the “Info” and “More options” menus, just as you can with a PDF.

You’re now ready to send your document.

You’ll need to let the recipient know the password for them to access it.

2. Use encryption software

For some file types and platforms, you may need specialist software or add-ons to fully protect documents.

For example, to password-protect a Google Doc, you might have to download an encryption add-on.

One of the most popular is called Secure File Encryption, and it allows you to password-protect any document uploaded to Google Drive.

To encrypt a Google Doc using Secure File Encryption:

  1. Get Secure File Encryption from Google Workspace and install it.
  2. Go to Google Drive.
  3. Select “New”, and follow it up with “More”.
  4. Select “Secure File Encryption”.
  5. Upload the file.
  6. Pick and type in a password.
  7. Confirm your password.

Once you email the Google Drive link, the recipient will need the password to open the file.

3. Use end-to-end email encryption

Most good email providers will also allow you to encrypt emails end-to-end before sending.

This process varies from provider to provider, but you’ll usually find the option to encrypt in your email security settings.

Make sure you encrypt both the email and any attachments it may have. Often, you’ll need to check two boxes to make sure both are safe and secure.

4. Use a secure document sharing service

Another option is to use a specialist document sharing service, which will do all the hard work of encryption, password protection, and cybersecurity for you.

You can also try tracking documents using services like PandaDoc, which is helpful for ensuring that attachments get where they need to go without being intercepted.

You can rely on these services to help with things like generation and document management too.

5. Protect sensitive information with secure eSignature technology

eSignature technology, like the software here at PandaDoc, uses digital certificates, diligent cybersecurity protocols, and high-end encryption to authenticate and validate documents.

A side benefit of this is that eSigned documents automatically have a lot of additional security protections that keep them secure when shared via email.

The best way to send secure documents via email

Although we may be biased, we’d argue that PandaDoc is the best way to share documents securely.

Our document sharing service lets you email these quickly and easily without having to worry about file security.

Try a PandaDoc demo today, and discover just how much easier we can make your document-sharing processes.