University launches Virtru to make Gmail even more secure


Information and Technology Services has announced that University of Michigan students, staff and faculty on the Ann Arbor, Dearborn and Flint campuses have access to Virtru, an enhanced email security tool.

Virtru is a browser extension that can be added to Google Chrome to send end-to-end encrypted email to anyone, prevent a forwarded email from being read, set a scheduled send date, immediately revoke the ability for a recipient to read an email, and more.

Virtru can be downloaded from the Google Chrome Store or through a link on the ITS website.

Email recipients do not need to have Virtru installed to read or respond to an encrypted message.

Faculty, staff and students who use Michigan Medicine Outlook/Exchange should continue to use Michigan Medicine’s Outlook – Email Encryption to encrypt email attachments.

“U-M’s Google email is secure for the vast majority of our needs, but for those that want or need an additional security or compliance assurance, Virtru provides that additional layer,” said Sol Bermann, executive director of ITS information assurance and chief information security officer.

Examples of information that could be sent in email with Virtru encryption include:

  • Personally identifiable information such as a person’s name, birth date and address.
  • An Excel spreadsheet with names and uniqnames or UMID numbers.
  • Grades and other student education records.

Some sensitive information should never be sent through email, even with encryption. Examples of information that should never be sent in email include:

  • Payment Card Industry data such as credit card numbers.
  • Other specific types of regulated data.

Additional guidance on what types of data are recommended for use with Virtru are in the ITS Sensitive Data Guide. Address further questions regarding Virtru to the ITS Service Center at 734-764-4357 or [email protected].


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