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Email Encryption - Reference Guide

If you are exchanging encrypted emails with the State of Wisconsin, you will need an account with the Cisco Registered Envelope Service (CRES). Below are the basic instructions to use the CRES system. It presumes you have received an encrypted email from the state.

This sample message is similar to what you may receive. Your email may look slightly different, depending on what email provider you use, but it will contain the same information. In the email there is a link to learn more, and a link for additional assistance.


Secure Message for CISCO program

When you receive the message, you should have one of three choices, depending on your email client:

  • A “View” button;
  • A link indicating “securedoc.html” or,
  • An attachment.

Once you select the appropriate option, you will see a new screen that resembles an envelope:



Select “Open.” If you are not registered, you will get a message with a link directing you to the registration screen:


Not Registered on CISCO program.

Click on the registration link and you will be sent to an online form that will direct you to create a password, a security phrase and three security questions. It is very important to remember the answers to your questions. (Your answers will be used to assist you with a password reset if you ever need one.) Once the form is completed, simply click the “Register” button at the bottom of the screen.


New User Registration for CISCO program

The next screen will direct you to check your email inbox to activate your account. The email will contain links that give you the option to activate or cancel your account. If you select cancel, you will not have the opportunity to read the encrypted email you received from the state.


Activation for CRES program.

Click on the link within this email to activate your account. You will then have the option to open the email by clicking on the ”Open” button.

If you forget your password, click on the “forgot password?” link on this screen. You will be prompted to answer the security questions you set up previously. Once you have successfully answered them, your password will be sent to you by email.

Once you enter your password, you will be able to view the encrypted email. It will contain the DHS logo if the email came from DHS. If it came from another agency, it will have the logo of that agency or the state logo.
In the future, you will only have to click on “View,” or the attachment, enter your email address and password, and you will be able to read the encrypted email.

Replying to an encrypted email

You must be logged in to the CRES site to be able to reply to an existing encrypted email, or to compose a new encrypted email.

There are a few important items to consider when using this system to correspond with the state:

  • Keep it secure. If you are using a shared computer, especially at a public location like a library or hotel, it is recommended that you click on the option to “forget me on this computer.”
  • No large attachments. Attachments larger than 10 (ten) megabytes will not be accepted. You should receive a notification if your email and its attachments are rejected.

Cisco Help:
CRES Login Page:

Last revised January 27, 2023