About Secure Email
The Department of Veterans’ Affairs Secure Mail Facility has been introduced to enable the secure communication of Sensitive information between the Department of Veterans’ Affairs and external parties over the internet. Sensitive emails sent via this facility have been encrypted to ensure the information within remains private and secure. Encrypting the email basically means it is scrambled/encoded to minimise the risk of an unauthorised person being able to read it if intercepted.
Using Sensitive email
To ensure the security of the Sensitive information you receive via Sensitive email, it is recommended that you protect your computer with a password, and not share your password to your computer or your email account with another person.
To ensure that Sensitive emails sent between DVA and you are sent using the secure process, please do not alter the classification assigned to the email in the subject line i.e. SEC=Sensitive. If the classification is altered in anyway, the email may be sent unencrypted.
If you receive Sensitive information from DVA that refers to a third party, you must be aware of your obligations under the Privacy Act. You are expected to take appropriate measures, if required, to ensure the information contained in the email (including any attachments) remains Sensitive. A statement to this effect is included in the disclaimer of a Sensitive email.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Can I send a Sensitive email to DVA?
- How do I open a Sensitive email sent from DVA?
- How Do I Send A Reply?
- I’ve Forgotten My Password. What do I do?
- I have received a message stating my Password/Answer attempts have been exceeded. What do I do?
- I am asked to enter my password before I am able to initiate a reply to the Sensitive email or hit send. Why?
- What are the web browser requirements to be able to send and receive Sensitive emails?
- Who Do I Contact If I Have A Problem?
- Who do I contact if I have a question?
Currently, external parties are not able to initiate and send Sensitive e-mails via the Department of Veterans’ Affairs Secure Mail Facility. External parties are only able to respond to Sensitive e-mails sent to them by DVA.
Note: Sensitive emails cannot be opened on an Apple iPhone or iPad mobile device. Please use a computer to view your Sensitive email.
Open the Sensitive email from your mailbox.
The Sensitive email from DVA will appear in your mailbox with a 'from' address in the format 'email@example.com' and will have a classification of SEC=Sensitive.
- Open the attachment to the email that is called ‘SecureMessageAtt.html’.
- A new browser window will open. Click the ‘Read Message’ button (the button is in the middle of the page).
First Time Users
The first time you receive a Sensitive email, you will be prompted to create a password and enter a ‘Password Recovery Question’. The recovery question will assist you if you forget your password.
Passwords must meet certain conditions:
- Enter first and last name
- Enter a password that meets the below conditions:
- Password must be 8-20 characters long,
- At least one Digit (0-9),
- At least one Punctuation or special character e.g. !, @, $, %, &, *
- Your username must not appear in the password
- Verify the password by re-typing your password where prompted.
- Enter a ‘Password Recovery Question’ and enter your answer. Your Password Recovery Question is a prompt for you only. The answer you enter is encrypted and not visible to the Department of Veterans’ Affairs.
Upon successful login, the Sensitive email will be displayed in the browser window.
If you are already a registered user i.e. you have received a Sensitive email from DVA previously;
- Enter your password in the Sign In screen as prompted.
The Sensitive email will be displayed in the browser window.
- Open the Sensitive email i.e. open the attachment (SecureMessage.html), click the ‘Read Message’ button and enter your password.
- You have 3 choices:
- Click the ‘Reply’ button (the button is located at the top left) to reply only to the address that sent you the email.
- Click the ‘Reply All’ button (the button is located at the top left) to reply to every address that received the initial email including the original sender of the email. A reply screen will open that contains the address/es you are replying to. These address/es are pre-populated. Should you wish to include another person into the email simply type the relevant e-mail address of your new contact in either the ‘to’ or ‘cc’ fields. Your new contact will receive a notification that you have sent them a Sensitive email and will be prompted to register themselves onto the system if they have not already registered.
- Click the ‘Forward’ button (the button is located at the top left) to on-send the Sensitive email onto a contact of your choice. Type the relevant e-mail address of your new contact in either the ‘to’ or ‘cc’ fields. Your new contact will receive a notification that you have sent them a Sensitive email and will be prompted to register themselves onto the system if they have not already registered.
- Write your reply. You may attach documents etc. by clicking ‘Choose File…’ (next to Attach). To receive a copy of the email yourself, select the ‘Copy Me’ box.
- When finished select the ‘Send’ button (the button is located at the top left).
Note: For security purposes, your secure session will time out after 10 minutes of inactivity. If you take longer than 10 minutes to compose your response, you will be prompted for your password again before the email is sent securely (you will not need to retype your email). This is an added security feature to minimise unauthorised use of your secure session.
When your email has been successfully sent a ‘Your secure message was sent successfully’ screen will display.
Once you have finished with the email, click the logout button, or return to the original message. This will securely log you out of the secure session.
If you have forgotten your password, click the ‘Forgot password' link on the password screen to go to the Password Recovery Question (which you set up the first time you logged on).
This will launch a screen that prompts you to answer your Password Recovery Question.
- If you can remember the answer to your Password Recovery Question, enter it where prompted (note this answer is not case sensitive).
You will then be prompted to enter a new Password. This must meet the same conditions as the original password:
- It must be at least 8-20 characters long;
- At least one digit (0-9)
- At least one punctuation or special character e.g. !, @, $, %, &, *;
- Your username must not appear in the password
If you cannot remember the answer to your ‘Recovery Question’ you will need to contact DVA on either 1300 301 575 or firstname.lastname@example.org to reset the password.
This message indicates you have unsuccessfully attempted to enter your password or recovery question answer more than the allowed limit.
You have three attempts to enter your password before being prompted to reset it. Click the ‘forgot password' link to be prompted for your Password Recovery answer. If you remember your answer, you will be prompted to enter a new password.
If you incorrectly enter your Password Recovery answer three times your account will be locked. You will need to contact DVA on either 1300 301 575 or email@example.com to reset the password.
I am asked to enter my password before I am able to initiate a reply to the Sensitive email or hit send. Why?
This is an added security measure. When the Sensitive email is opened in a new browser window, the browser session has 10 minutes before it times out. If there is no action in the email, i.e. hitting the reply or send buttons, within 10 minutes of opening, the session will time out and you will have to enter your password to continue. Typing or using the scroll bar are not considered actions.
The requirements of the web browser you will need to access Sensitive email are considered low. If you able to read a newspaper online, you should be able to receive Sensitive emails from DVA. If you do not have these minimum browser requirements you will be directed to upgrade to a higher version.
If the information contained on this site is unable to assist you, and the problem or question is technical in nature, you can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please let DVA know how to contact you regarding your query.
Do not disclose your password or password recovery answer in this email. DVA will not ask you for your password or password recovery answer.
If you have a problem or question that is not related to atechnical issue with your secure email, please contact DVA.
The DVA Contact page provides contact details.