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Virtru-Encrypted E-mails: Information and Troubleshooting - Financial Regulation

Installing Virtru for Chrome (pdf)

What is Virtru Encryption?

Virtru is an e-mail encryption platform that functions with all cloud-based e-mail platforms.  Virtru extends two types of e-mail encryption.  One type is a secure web portal in which recipients log into a web browser page to open an encrypted e-mail in their inbox.   The other type of encryption is an end-to-end encryption in Outlook, Office 365 and Gmail.  With the end-to-end platform both parties have Virtru credentials and can access encrypted e-mails from within their inbox.  When using end-to-end encryption, Virtru offers various supplementary security options.  The options are as follows:

  1. PDF Watermarking – Provides special protection for document and image attachments that you send.  When watermarking is applied, recipients will only have access in the Secure Reader and will see their e-mail address watermarked across the document. The recipient will not be able to download a decrypted copy of the file. It supports the following file types:
    • Microsoft Office documents: docx, pptx, xlsx
    • Image file formats: jpeg, png
    • PDF documents 
  2. Control Forwarding – See and manage where your messages are forwarded.   This feature ensures that your recipients can access the encrypted content but will stop any additional users from gaining access to the message.  Should the original recipient pass the e-mail to a new party, the new user will not be able to unlock the message.
  3. Message Expiration – Inhibits recipients from reading encrypted e-mails after a certain period of time.  As the owner of the content, you can restrict access after a particular point in time.   Should a recipient attempt to access the content after expiration, they will receive a message indicating their access is expired.
  4. Message Revocation – Virtru users have the ability to revoke a message at any time.  A message can be revoked even after it has been opened. 


Virtru Troubleshooting

Problems that may arise when using Virtru, and recommended solutions.

PROBLEM:  A recipient is unable to open e-mail and attachments sent using Virtru.

RECOMMENDED SOLUTION: If you are not a Virtru user, you can still access a message using the Virtru Secure Reader.  To access an e-mail message follow the steps below:

  1. Open the secure e-mail in your inbox;
  2. Click Unlock Message( a new tab will open);
  3. Select your e-mail address.  If you do not see your e-mail listed, click Use another e-mail address and enter your e-mail address.  Please be sure you are using the exact e-mail address to which the secure message was sent.  If the e-mail was sent to an alias, group address, or distribution list address, you will need to select or enter that exact e-mail address rather than your personal address;
  4. Choose how you would like to verify your identity.  You can choose Sign-in with a one-time verification;
  5. If you selected sign-in with one-time verification link, check your inbox for your verification e-mail. It will come from;
  6. Open the verification e-mail;
  7. Click View Message to open your message.  (Both the Unlock Message and View Massage link need to be opened in the same browser on the same device in order to confirm your identity); and
  8. The message will open in Virtru Secure Reader in a new tab in the browser.  You will be able to view and access attachments at this time.

NOTE: If you did not receive the verification e-mail in your inbox, check any Spam, Junk, and/or Promotion folders.  If the e-mail is not in any other folders, the e-mail may be stuck in an external quarantine.  Please contact your internal IT administrator and ask them to check any mail filters or quarantine.  Also, request that your IT administrator allow or unblock e-mails from the domain to prevent the issue from recurring.

PROBLEM:  The original e-mail is not visible when replying to or forwarding a message.

RECOMMENDED SOLUTION:  When replying to a secure Virtru e-mail message and the original e-mail is not visible in your reply draft, the message was sent with a certain protection. You will see “This is a secure message chain, protected by Virtru”.  The message is hidden to protect the contents of the original secure message.  This ensures that users cannot turn Virtru off in a reply or forward and send the original message unencrypted.  This behavior occurs only until the new message is sent.   Once the e-mail is sent, authorized users with a Virtru will be able to access the full e-mail. 
To review the secured e-mail, prior to sending a reply, complete the following: 

  1. Open the original message in a second window and arrange the windows side-by-side; or 
  2. Use Gmail Conversation View, which will nest e-mails together in Gmail and display the prior message above your draft.

PROBLEM:  Getting Virtru error message: “Not authorized to use/view this file”.

This message frequently occurs when the receiver attempts to open the Virtru encrypted e-mail/file sent by someone from the Office.  It seems to occur when there are multiple intended e-mail recipients or when the e-mail is forwarded by the receiver to additional parties.  For example, typically, when a copy of the examination is sent by e-mail, it is only sent to the one contact at the licensee that was identified in the manager's questionnaire.  Very often, that contact will  attempt to forward the electronic copy of the exam to someone else within their organization (i.e., management) who will then receive the error message when they try to open the e-mail since they  were not authorized by our Office (i.e., the e-mail originator) to view the e-mail.  To resolve this situation, the person sending the e-mail must send a new e-mail granting access to that person who will then go through the verification process.  
RECOMMENDED SOLUTION: It is important to note, if the original sender has not granted a person access to the e-mail or file, then that recipient will receive one of these messages. The person who sent the e-mail or file controls access to it. If you believe that you or another person should have access to the e-mail or file try the following:

  1. Confirm you are using the correct e-mail address to which the secure message/file was sent.  The e-mail may only be opened by those recipients who received access to the e-mail from the original sender.
  2. Verify you are using a supported browser (Internet Explorer 11 and above or latest version of Chrome, Safari, and Firefox).
  3. If you’re still receiving the error after steps 1 and 2, ask the sender to directly send you a new e-mail giving you access to the e-mail or the file.
  4. If the problem is being experienced by an external receiver who is not a State of Maryland employee (i.e., someone to whom you directly sent the e-mail providing access), you should ask them to Contact their internal IT Department to ensure that all of the Virtru Required Endpoint URLS are whitelisted in their firewall.

PROBLEM: Virtru error messages: “This verification link has already been used” or “your verification link has expired”.

When a sender sends an e-mail encrypted by Virtru, the receiver gets an e-mail with a big button that says UNLOCK.  Once the UNLOCK button is clicked, it takes the recipient to a website that asks them to verify their e-mail.  Once verified, Virtru will send them a verification e-mail from one of two e-mail addresses ( or verify+  The error messages occur because those verification e-mails are only good for 24 hours.  Very often the receiver will try to re-access the encrypted e-mail at a later time and may search their e-mail inbox and try to use one of those verification e-mails that are no longer valid.  They need to use the original e-mail that has the UNLOCK button in order to access.  
For best practices and to avoid confusion, the users should just avoid previous verification e-mails by just deleting them and then going back to the original UNLOCK e-mail. Once the UNLOCK button is clicked, a new verification e-mail will be generated that can be used.   
RECOMMENDED SOLUTION: When accessing a message in the Secure Reader, users may encounter an error during Virtru verification when they try to re-access a message using an old verification link.  Verification e-mails are for one-time use, have expirations, and are both browser and device specific and when this error is encountered, a user will need to request a new verification e-mail. The following steps are recommended:

  1. Delete all verification e-mails from and/or (with each “X” being a digit).
  2. Find the original e-mail from the sender and Click the Unlock button.
  3. Select or enter the applicable e-mail address that received the secure message.
  4. If prompted, use the sign-in with a one-time verification link verification option.
  5. Open this new verification e-mail on the same device and browser from which it was requested.

PROBLEM:  Virtru error message: “There’s something wrong”.

RECOMMENDED SOLUTION: This error can occur for a variety of reasons but most commonly, users encounter this message if they switch devices or clear the browser cache after receiving the original message or during the verification process.  Restarting the verification process from the original device should cure this problem. Try these steps:

  1. Delete all verification e-mails from and/or verify (with each “X” being a digit).
  2. Click the Unlock Message button in the original e-mail from the sender.
  3. Select or enter the applicable e-mail address that received the secure message.
  4. If prompted, sign-in using the one-time verification link verification option.
  5. Open the new verification e-mail on the same device and browser from which it was requested.

PROBLEM:  Verification e-mail not received.

RECOMMENDED SOLUTION: This issue typically arises from the standard Secure Reader verification process.
Virtru verification links are sent by (with each “X” being a digit) and Virtru verification codes are delivered by If the e-mail containing the link or code has not landed in the receiver’s main Inbox within 5-10 minutes after it was initially requested, there are a few other areas to check:

  1. Check any Spam, Junk, and/or Promotions folders.
  2. If the e-mail is not in any other folders, then the e-mail is likely stuck in an external quarantine.
    • If the receiver is using a business e-mail address, they should contact their internal IT administrators to check any mail filters or quarantine. We also suggest requesting that their IT admins allow or unblock e-mails from the domain to ensure the issue doesn’t happen again.
    • If the receiver is using a personal e-mail address (such as or it is recommended that they check their spam settings to see if these messages are automatically being deleted or withheld.