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Do I need a ‘Microsoft 365’ account to access emails sent from the Ombudsman?

You do NOT need a ‘Microsoft 365’ account to access emails sent from this office (whether encrypted or unencrypted). Unencrypted emails should be accessible in the same manner as all other emails you receive. If you do not have a ‘Microsoft 365’ account, you can still access the encrypted email by selecting the ‘sign in with a one-time passcode’ option when you open the email. This one-time passcode will be emailed to you which you can then use to access the email. **

** If you are using an apple OS / Device – please see guidance Q&A on ‘Can I access ‘Microsoft 365’ emails on an Apple device?’



How do I access Unencrypted emails sent to me?

All unencrypted emails sent from this office should be accessible in the normal way you read all your other emails. This applies whether you have a ‘Microsoft 365’ account or not.



How do I access Encrypted emails sent to me?
  • I already have a Microsoft 365 account. How do I access ‘Microsoft 365’ encrypted emails?

As long as you are signed into your ‘Microsoft 365 account’ you can access the encrypted email automatically without any further action. You can sign into your 365 account HERE.

  • I do not have a ‘Microsoft 365’ Account. How do I access ‘Microsoft 365’ encrypted emails?

If you do NOT have a ‘Microsoft 365’ account, you can still access the encrypted email by selecting the ‘sign in with a one-time passcode’ option when you open the email. This one-time passcode** will be emailed to you which you can then use to access the email. I do not have a Microsoft 365 account

  • Can I access ‘Microsoft 365’ emails on an Apple device?

Yes. Unencrypted emails can be accessed as normal.

Encrypted emails sent from this office can be accessed on an apple device as follows:

  • Please ensure you know your email application ID password before selecting ‘read message’
  • Select ‘Read message’. You will then be given an option to ‘sign in with [email provider] ID’ . Please select this option. (Do NOT select the one-time passcode option if using an apple device / apple OS)
  • Sign in using your email provider password to access the email.



How do I sign up for a ‘Microsoft 365’ account?

There is no requirement to have a ‘Microsoft 365’ account to access our encrypted emails. However, if you would like to enquire further about signing up for office 365, then you can find out more HERE.



Can I request that the Ombudsman does not send me emails that are encrypted?

Due to our duty of care to secure your sensitive and/or personal information, we strongly advise that you agree to receive such emails from us in encrypted form. However, you can contact us to request we send an email in unencrypted format as long as you acknowledge and accept the increased risk of unauthorised access to your own personal information.



What is a ‘junk/spam’ folder, and how do I stop emails I know are not spam or junk going into them?

The main purpose of a junk or spam folder is to send all your unwanted emails (internet junk mail) to a designated area. The spam folder keeps the junk mail out of sight, so it doesn’t clutter your inbox.

Every email provider and or application has its own spam filter, that determines which emails are legit and will arrive in your inbox and which should be sent straight to the spam folder. Due to the ever-increasing volumes or unsolicited emails, email providers rules on what is junk or not has expanded considerably recently causing more and more emails to be designated as junk or spam. Unfortunately, this is not within the control of the emails ender, but there are ways to reduce the risk of expected emails being put into your junk folder. One method is to ‘whitelist’ email addresses you know are not ‘junk’. (See ‘What is Whitelisting’ Q&A)



How do I stop my emails I send from going into recipient junk or spam folders

Whilst not a guarantee either way of being put into a spam folder or not, if you avoid the following, if possible, it will reduce the chances of your email being placed into such folders:

  • ALL CAPS in subject line
  • Exclamation marks in subject line
  • Common ‘sales’ words in both subject line and content of emails such as:
    • Sale
    • Offer
    • Promotion
    • Free
    • Limited offer
  • Embedded images such as signature or footer images (email providers are increasingly putting emails with embedded images into junk folders, this incudes company logos and signature / footer images, due to ‘spammers’ increasingly circumventing above rules by replacing TEXT with images of text E.g. SALE NOW ON!
  • Unnecessary attachments (large attachments or excessive multiple attachments increases the risk of it being put into a junk folder)
  • Any attachments with executable files (including macro’s)



What is ’whitelisting’ when talking about emails?

Whitelisting an email involves telling your email provider that you want emails from that sender to be allowed into your inbox rather than being filtered into spam. If you wish to reduce the risk of emails from this office being out into your ‘spam/junk’ folders, you can find specific instructions dependent upon your email provider at the end of this Q&A (How to ‘Whitelist’ emails sent from the Ombudsman’)



Guidance on how to ‘whitelist’ emails from the Ombudsman office


How to access and manage your spam folder using GMAIL web app

  1. Open Gmail and sign into your email account from your computer.
    2. Scroll down on the left sidebar that displays all the folders, including your inbox folder.
    3. Click on the More option and scroll down to find the spam folder.
  2. Click on the spam folder (indicated with an exclamation icon).
  3. To delete a single spam message, select it and click the bin icon at the extreme right to delete it.
  4. To delete all the spam emails in the folder, click the check box at the top left to select all messages and click Delete forever.
  5. You can also empty your spam folder with one click. All you have to do is click Delete all spam messages now from the notification that appears above.


How to access and manage your spam folder using GMAIL mobile app

  1. Log in to your Gmail account on your iPhone or Android device.
    2. Click the three bars (burger icon) in the upper-left corner to open the main menu.
  2. Scroll down, and you’ll find the spam folder.
  3. To clear your spam folder in one go, tap on Empty Spam now at the top.
  4. To delete a single message, select the message and tap delete (bin icon) at the top right.


How to unhide your spam folder in Gmail.

When you set up your Gmail or Google account, the spam folder is hidden by default on the web app.

Fortunately, you can change your Gmail spam folder to “Show,” making it easier to monitor how many spam emails you receive and check that important emails aren’t going to the spam folder accidentally.

Note: On the Gmail mobile app, the Spam folder is shown by default. 

Here’s how to unhide your spam folder in Gmail:

  1. Log in to Gmail, click on the Settingsicon and select See all settings.
  2. Click on the Labelstab.
  3. Click on Shownext to the Spamlabel.
  4. Now, your Spam foldershould appear on your Mailbox Menuwith the rest of your folders.


How to Whitelist Important Email Addresses in Gmail

Whitelisting (adding senders to your safe sender list) helps ensure that future messages from particular addresses and domains never end up in your spam folder.

Here’s how to do it on the web and mobile app.


GMAIL Web app

Here’s how you can whitelist email addresses and domains in your Gmail account:

  1. Log in to Gmail and select the Settings (gear icon)at the top right corner and click See all settings.
  2. Go to Filters and Blocked Addressesand click on Create New Filter.
  3. Enter the email address you want to whitelist in the From fieldand click on Create Filter.
  4. Select Never send it to Spamfrom the checklist that appears and click Create Filter.

All the emails from the whitelisted email IDs or domains will now be delivered to your Gmail inbox.

GMAIL Mobile app

Here’s how you whitelist email addresses in the Gmail app:

  1. In the Gmail app, tap and hold the email from the address you want to whitelist.
    2. Tap the three dots (Menu) in the upper right corner and select Move to.
  2. From the dialog box that appears, choose Primaryto move the email there.




How to access and manage your spam folder using OUTLOOK web app

  1. Open your Outlook account.
    2. In the Folderstab on the left, click Junk Email. (On the web app, this is the name Outlook uses for the spam folder.)
  2. Select the message you want to delete from Junk Emailand click Delete at the top.
  3. To clear your Junk Emailfolder, just click the Empty folderoption at the top.


How to access and manage your spam folder using OUTLOOK Mobile app

  1. Open your Outlook app and click the burger iconat the top left.
  2. You’ll find the Junk Emailfolder in the list, where you can view your spam messages.
  3. To delete a single email from the Junk Email folder, select the spam message and click on the bin icon (delete) at the top right.
  4. To clear your Spamfolder, just click Empty Spamat the top left.


How to Whitelist Important Email Addresses in OUTLOOK Web App

  1. Click on Settings and go to View all Outlook settings.
  2. Select Mailand then click on Junk email.
  3. Go to the Safe senders and domainssection.
  4. Click +Addand enter the email address/domain in the box that appears below it.
  5. Press enter and click Save.


How to Whitelist Important Email Addresses in OUTLOOK Mobile App

To whitelist email addresses via the Outlook app, all you have to do is:

  1. Open an email whose address you want to whitelist and tap the three dots (Menu)at the top right corner of the screen.
  2. Tap Move to folder. 
  3. Select Inboxfrom either theFavourites or Folders List.
  4. Ensure that the Focused tabis selected under Inbox.


What’s the Focused Inbox in Outlook?
The Focused Inbox in Outlook contains all your important emails while the other not-so-important ones automatically go to the Others tab.

Since you can’t access the safe senders and domains option in the mobile app, you can opt for this method instead.




How to Whitelist Important Email Addresses in YAHOO Mail

  1. Navigate to “Settings” icon, then click “More Settings” from the Yahoo Mail menu.
  2. Select “Filters” and hit “Add” to enter information about the domain name or sender.
  3. From here, you can enter any string of text you want to whitelist in future emails. This could be anything from an email address or domain name to something you expect to be in the body of the message.


How to Whitelist Important Email Addresses in YAHOO Mail mobile app

  1. Open Yahoo Mail Mobile App.
  2. Click on the sidebar.
  3. Click on the Spam folder.
  4. Find the email you wish to whitelist.
  5. Click “Move” and then click “Inbox”.





How to Whitelist Important Email Addresses in AOL

  1. Log in to your AOL account.
  2. Open Contacts from the left navigation pane.
  3. Click the New Contact icon and enter the required information.

Click the Add Contact button located at the bottom



Further Information about the need to protect emails

Guidance on communicating with the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales via email

Our work involves routinely handling confidential and sensitive personal information, including health records and other sensitive information.

We will generally communicate with you through the email address you have provided unless you tell us differently.

We use ‘Microsoft 365’ email to send emails which enhances our email security and removes the need for us to use third party applications to encrypt our correspondence.

If we correspond with you by email, then we will send any confidential or sensitive personal information to you using encrypted secure email via ‘Microsoft 365’ email.  This is necessary to protect the content of the material.

The following is further information and guidance on communicating with the Ombudsman service using email. If you have any queries about accessing ombudsman emails that are not answered in the guidance on this page , you can contact our IT team via email at

What security protection does the ombudsman apply to outgoing emails?

This office uses multiple security layers to protect emails we send out including.

  • TLS (Transport Layer Security)
  • SPF (Sender Policy Framework)
  • DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail)
  • DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance)


This office then also further encrypts emails we send out using ‘Microsoft 365’ encryption if the email contains sensitive and/or personal information.

Does the Ombudsman encrypt all emails that are sent out?

No, the Ombudsman will only encrypt emails that contain confidential and/or sensitive personal information. Emails that contain acknowledgements or general information will not be encrypted.

Why do you encrypt emails at all?

Most people think emails are similar to a hardcopy postal letter in an envelope, but this is not strictly true. Unencrypted emails are more similar to a postcard in that there is no protective envelope to stop the email being read whilst it is in transit from sender to recipient. Therefore, to prevent unauthorised access to sensitive and/ or personal information, a means to secure this information is needed. That is what we mean by ‘encryption’.