With Office 365 and Information Rights Management, you can set permissions on your emails or office files to help keep company data secure. I’m going to show you how to apply an Information Rights Management policy to an email in Outlook.
First, open a new message window.
Then, select the File tab from the ribbon, and from the Info pane, select the dropdown labeled Set Permissions.
I’m going to choose the Do Not Forward option. Outlook will tell me what this policy entails, and I can hit the Back arrow to return to my message. Outlook will let me know at the top of my message that my policy has been applied and which permissions it will restrict or allow.
I’m going to send this to myself, so we can see how a message that’s been sent with restrictions looks when it arrives in your inbox. I’m also going to send it to a Gmail account, so we can see how it appears when looked at by a non-Outlook or external user.
Here’s the message I’ve just sent, and this red icon here indicates that this message has been received with restrictions. Since I’m the one who sent this message, I will still be able to forward it, but if you tried to forward a message you received with this policy applied, you would get a popup dialogue box letting you know that this action is not allowed.
IRM can also stop recipients from taking screenshots of your message. I’m going to click on this message from a coworker, which you can see by the icon here, has a restriction applied. I am currently recording my screen, so as soon as the message is in view, my recording turns black, preventing me from capturing any of the content in his message. I am able to record the screen in my own message because I have rights to the content as the message creator, so when I click back on my own message, the recording will return.
It’s worth noting that this only works with the Outlook Client, so if your recipient is using the OWA app or another mail service—like Gmail, they will not have forwarding abilities, but they might still be able to capture the content in the body of your message.
It’s always a good idea to make sure you’re sending confidential information only to a trustworthy source. Even if they’re using the Outlook client, nothing can prevent a recipient from recreating your content manually.
Now I’m going to navigate to the Gmail account where I’ve sent this message, so we can see how this works without the Outlook client. In Gmail, I’ve received a notification about the email with a link to view the message. When I click Read the Message, I have two options.
I can either Sign in with Microsoft or Sign in with a One-Time Passcode. Your recipient can choose Sign in with a One-Time Passcode. They’ll get this page that lets them know to check their inbox for the code. I’m going to go back to the Gmail inbox, copy the code, and enter it here to see the message.
And here is the message I sent. You’ll notice that I am able to reply in this window, but the Forward option is greyed out.
That’s how you apply an Information Rights Management policy to a message in Outlook with Office 365.