PHFA Secure E-mail Information

The Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency respects individual privacy and strives to keep all personal financial information provided by consumers and business partners confidential.

One of the ways we are working to ensure privacy and the confidentiality of our customers is through our communications networks. We have implemented Cisco's Registered Envelope Service (RES) secure e-mail solution to help protect against inadvertent disclosure of personally identifiable financial information.

In selecting a security system for communications, PHFA has chosen a system designed to be easy to use for both our employees and our e-messaging partners. RES services enable us to send encrypted e-mail to anyone, whether they are Cisco RES customers or not.

Secure e-mail messaging ensures against credit card fraud and consumer identity theft. It's also an effective way to conduct financial business. This page will help you understand our secure e-messaging initiatives. Please scroll to the bottom of the page for a link to an Adobe PDF file that contains information on opening a RES secured message.

Secure Message Center FAQs

  1. Why is PHFA sending me a secure message?
    Protecting customer privacy and data is a priority at PHFA. We use Cisco's Registered Envelope Service (RES) to give our customers and business partners a safe, quick, and secure way to receive e-mail containing personal data such as account information, statements, and payoff information.
  2. What is a secure e-mail?
    RES uses e-mail encryption to safely transmit the e-mail's content across the Internet. E-mail encryption is similar to a letter being placed into an envelope and sealed. We scramble the information inside the e-mail (including attachments) and send it. The recipient has a software encryption key (their password) that allows them to open (unseal) the message.
  3. Do I need any special software to view encrypted messages sent by PHFA?
    No. RES uses a combination of e-mail and html. So, if you have e-mail of any kind and are able to access the Internet, you have everything you need to open and read a message encrypted by RES.
  4. Do I need a Username and Password to open Secure Messages?
    Yes. Your username is your e-mail address. A message sent to your e-mail address will automatically supply your username and then you will need to enter your password to open the message.
  5. What if I forget or want to change my password?
    Use the "Forgot Password?" link when you attempt to open the Secure Message. The process will require you to answer the Password Challenge Questions you specified when you enrolled in RES.
  6. Can I send a Secure Message to PHFA?
    Yes. Go to the Cisco Registered Envelope Service Home Page and log on using the e-mail address where you have received a secure message in the past and the password that you set up when you registered with the RES service. If you have never received a RES message from PHFA, you will need to contact a PHFA staff member and have them send you a secure message to initiate the registration process.
  7. Can I reply securely to an e-mail from PHFA?
    Yes. Simply select the "Reply" button in the message and your response will be encrypted. Please note that you cannot forward these e-mails to others without providing them with your RES password. You can copy and paste information into a new e-mail and send that to other recipients.
  8. Can I receive attachments through RES?
    Yes. The body of the e-mail and all attachments are encrypted.
  9. What is the largest attachment I can send through the Secure Message Center?
    10 MB is the size limit for attachments.
  10. What kind of e-mail encryption is used to secure RES secured messages?
    128 bit triple DES encryption.
  11. Will I be able to save an attachment to my computer?
    Yes. You may open attachments and save them to your computer's hard drive. Those documents will not require a password to open. However, the e-mail will always remain encrypted and require you to enter your password each time you open it.
  12. Are there any precautions I should take in sending encrypted e-mails?
    Yes. DO NOT include confidential data in the subject line. The subject line is never encrypted. Include sensitive information in the body of your e-mail.
  13. Who do I contact if I have problems opening a secure message?
    If you have problems or questions, please refer to Cisco Registered Envelope Recipient Guide. Additional information can be found in the Cisco Registered Envelope Service FAQs.