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Getting Started with Compriva Private Email

Start sending and receiving encrypted email in minutes by following these steps:

1. Checking correct operation

After seeing "Installation Successful", you can immediately check for correct operation of your installed Compriva Private Email certificates by sending yourself an encrypted ComprivaNote™:

  1. Select Send ComprivaNote.
  2. When prompted, select the signing certificate for the email address you used during installation.
  3. When the "Send ComprivaNote" page appears, enter that same email address and select Find.
  4. Compose a ComprivaNote and select Send.

After seeing the “ComprivaNote successfully sent” confirmation page, check for newly received messages for that address in your email client program. You should see your message with a small "lock" icon. Open and read your message. Click on the "lock" icon to check the certificate details.

2. Sending and receiving encrypted ComprivaNotes


In section (1.) above, you sent yourself (and received) an encrypted ComprivaNote. To send one to any other Compriva Private Email registrant, use the same procedure but when the "Send ComprivaNote" page appears, enter that contact's email address instead of yours.


Immediately after installing Compriva Private Email you can receive encrypted email (including ComprivaNotes) from any other registrant.

You can also very quickly receive encrypted ComprivaNotes from any contact you trust (registrant and non-registrants!) by using our patented* ComprivaLink™ functionality:

  1. Select Send ComprivaLink.
  2. When prompted, select the signing certificate for the email address you used during installation.
  3. When the "Send a ComprivaLink" page appears, enter your contact's email address and (optionally) include a personal note.
  4. Send the ComprivaLink.

Your contact will receive an email containing your note and a unique reuseable ComprivaLink (URL) to our secure server (you'll also receive a confirmation). On activating that ComprivaLink from any browser, your contact will be presented with a secure pre-addressed webform for sending you an encrypted ComprivaNote.

Tip: your contact can bookmark the form and reuse it anytime from any PC, tablet or smartphone.

3. Sending and receiving digitally signed (authenticated) emails

On installing Compriva Private Email for your specified email address, all supported email client programs on your Windows PC configured for that email address were set up with Compriva digital email certificates.


In your preferred/default email client program, using the account for the email address you used during installation:

  1. Open the new message window.
  2. Address the message to a Compriva registrant (you can use Send ComprivaNote to check the address).
  3. Enter subject and text. (First time only: ask your contact to send you a digitally-signed reply so that you can accept his/her digital signature.)
  4. Use the "Sign" button to digitally sign your message.
  5. Send your message.


On receiving digitally signed email from a Compriva registrant, notice the small seal/ribbon icon.

  1. Open the email and see the note "Digitally signed with a trusted certificate" as well as the certificate icon.
  2. Click on the icon to inspect the details.
  3. If you trust the contact, you need to accept the certificate to your address book/Contacts folder before you can encrypt email (and attachments) to that contact.

4. Sending and receiving encrypted emails with attachments


(Before you encrypt a message to another Compriva registrant for the first time, you must receive a digitally-signed message from that contact and accept his/her digital certificate. This does not need to be done again until that user installs new Compriva email certificates.)

  1. After accepting your contact’s digital certificate you can use your “Reply” function to send that contact an encrypted email.

Or …

  1. Open your new message window and address and compose your message with any desired attachments as usual. Be sure to select the email address for which you accepted your contact's Compriva digital certificate.
  2. Use the "Encrypt" button on the toolbar of your new message window to encrypt the message before you send it.
  3. Be sure to send your encrypted message using the account for the email address you used during installation.


On receiving encrypted email, notice the small lock icon.

  1. Open the message and attachments as you normally do.
  2. Optionally, check the annotation and certificate icons for signing/encryption details.

5. Troubleshooting/Reporting Problems/Getting Help

Check out our Troubleshooting and FAQ pages for more information.

To report a problem or for further assistance please use our Support Request Form.

* U.S. Patent No.8,549,280