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Best encryption method for an Outlook .PST file

What is the best encryption method for an Outlook .PST file? Which algorithm is used for the best encryption?
This Microsoft article How to create a new personal folders (.PST) file in Outlook 2002 discusses the various ways to create a .PST, and the encryption choices available to you.

They state: "Click Best Encryption, and then set a password for your personal folders (.PST) file if security is of utmost concern."

That doesn't address the primary issue with passwords on .PSTs. Any search on Google will yield a number of software firms selling .PST password crack utilities. So, no matter the selection of available encryption -- the data itself is available even if the .PST is password protected.

Particularly sensitive data should be stored in other mechanisms, like an Exchange database -- where you should be guaranteed physical security based on the facilities around the data center security where your Exchange server resides.


Do you have comments on this Ask the Expert Q&A? Let us know.
Related information from SearchExchange.com:

  • Learning Center: Toolbox for Exchange administrators
  • Reference Center: Message encryption
  • Reference Center: Personal Store(PST)


  • This was last published in June 2005

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