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Secure email

We take information security seriously. Client data and confidentiality is at the heart of everything we do.

We use easy-to-use data encryption measures that ensure the security of the electronic data we share. This helps us both comply with legal and professional regulations, and puts West Northamptonshire Council firmly at the forefront of best practice.

We use a solution called Egress Switch because:

  • it’s free for you to use – you can receive and reply to all encrypted emails absolutely free of charge
  • it’s easy to use
  • you don’t need to download any software – using Web Access you can access encrypted emails without the need to download any software, although desktop and mobile apps are available free of charge

The relationship that we have with you is extremely important to us, and while the risk of data loss is small, it is something we take very seriously.

You will not be required to install any software onto your PC in order for you to decrypt the message or information, but you will need to set up a free Switch account.

Should you want to, however, you can download a full copy of the software at no cost, allowing you to send unlimited encrypted emails to us free of charge.

If your organisation already has an installation of Egress Switch, emails sent from WNC can be decrypted and delivered to your inbox automatically.

We would like to ask you to support WNC in protecting client data and to accommodate Egress in your processes where possible.

What to do when you receive a secure email

In order to open an email sent from us using Egress Switch you must first set up a free Egress Switch account.

For help on how to do this, see Egress Switch Help and Support.

The Data Protection Act requires that the council, as an organisation, takes adequate steps to protect information containing detail that is personal or sensitive in nature.

To support this obligation Egress Switch has been procured by the council to deliver a secure communications package which will facilitate secure email between the council and its customers and partners.

We would not meet our data protection obligations if we were to send personal and/or sensitive data through unencrypted channels.

We are unable to use alternatives to Egress.

This is due to the difference between data controller and data processor which is central to understanding the Data Protection Act (DPA) – particularly in terms of working out where data protection responsibility lies. The DPA differentiates between data controllers and data processors.

It is essential for organisations involved in the processing of personal data to be able to determine whether they are acting as a data controller or as a data processor in respect of the processing. This is particularly important in situations such as a data breach where it will be necessary to determine which organisation has data protection responsibility.

The data controller must exercise overall control over the purpose for which, and the manner in which, personal data are processed. Where WNC is acting as the data controller, it is essential that a system is used which is under the control of the council.

WNC's system of choice in this situation is Egress Switch.

Last updated 19 December 2023