Electronic Signatures and Encryption of E-Mail Traffic

Secure, Signed and Secure E-Mail

From a technical standpoint, you can compare an e-mail to a regular letter written on paper. The sender’s address is not verified on a letter as well as an e-mail. Using an electronic signature (like using a handwritten signature) is a surefire way to be certain that an e-mail really was sent by a sender and has not been faked during delivery. The electronic signature is created from a personal certificate of a sender.

In cooperation with the DFN-association, we offer personal certificates, that are suited for signatures as well as e-mail encryption. Three steps are necessary to prepare your e-mail client for sending signed and encrypted mails.

The ZIM recommends to only send signed e-mails and to set this process as standard in your e-mail client.

Information on the DFN-PKI infrastructure.

Two Steps To Your Personal Certificate

Recognize Signed E-Mails

You can see if an e-mail is signed in Outlook by looking at the little check mark (marked with an arrow in the picture below):


When you click on the check mark, the client will show you if the signature is verified:


In Thunderbird (marked red as well):  

​A click on the sealed envelope reveals details of your certificate.

Recognize Encrypted E-Mails

You can see if a message is encrypted, by looking at the little lock symbol.


You can recognize a digitally signed e-mail by looking at the sealed envelope symbol.