How to Install and Activate Virtru for Gmail

Please note:  If you are an employee that does not send email, or, none involving personally identifiable information of students or employees - you do not need to install Virtru.  If you do or potentially may send electronic mail messages which contain PII - then you must install and use Virtru.  Keep reading for details.

With more work being conducted beyond our school walls, the ability to keep sensitive data private is more important than ever before.  We are excited to announce that our district now has access to Virtru, a simple way to send secure communication via Gmail and Chrome.  Virtru is used by the top global financial, governmental, and health organizations throughout the world - and we are glad to have this available to us at Pal-Mac. 

Why do we need Virtru?  

As part of Education Law 2d, we are required to safeguard personally identifiable information when transmitted over communication networks.  If you need to send an email with sensitive information, Virtru helps to ensure that the information is protected and securely delivered to its intended recipients.

What is PII?  

PII, or Personally Identifiable Information, includes information that can be used to distinguish or trace an individual’s (student, parent, or employee) identity either directly or indirectly through linkages with other information including name, address, and/or identification numbers.

When would I use Virtru?

Any time you send an email that contains personally identifiable information, or, sensitive information such as faculty information, payroll, assessment data, or special education information - you need to use Virtru.

Before you can send and receive secure emails with Virtru in Chrome, there are a few simple steps you will need to follow.  Attached you will find instructions that guide you through this process.  You may also receive an automated email from Virtu with the same instructions as below.

Should you have any questions please do not hesitate to ask.

Thank you!

Chip / Jake

To get started using Virtru, you’ll first need to install it to Google Chrome, and then, activate it inside of Gmail. 

Step One:  Install the Virtru Extension to Gmail in Google Chrome

Please note that this will only work with your Pal-Mac email address in Google Chrome.

  1. First, you’ll need to  install and activate the Virtru plugin, which can be found by visiting and click the link for installing to Google Chrome and Gmail.
  2. Click the blue box that says “Add to Chrome.”Chrome web store page on Virtru extension with add to Chrome button in top right
  3. When prompted, click Add extension
  4. Once installation is complete, users will receive a brief confirmation and be directed to a Virtru welcome page.  If Gmail is open in another tab, Virtru will automatically refresh the page for you so that the extension loads.Modal with prompt to confirm that you want to add Virtru email extension

Step Two:  Activate Virtru and send your first secure email!

  1. Once Virtru is successfully installed, you will automatically be prompted to activate upon opening Gmail. Select the Activate button to begin the activation process.
  2. Upon successful activation, you will receive a confirmation prompt. Click Done to begin sending secure messages!Modal showing successful activation with done buttonVirtru modal with activate button
  3. If you are new to Virtru, you will receive a brief tour showing you how to send your first secure message. Click Compose to continue.
  4. In the Compose window, you can toggle Virtru protection on by selecting the toggle in the top right corner.
  5. The toggle will turn blue, indicating that the message you compose will be sent securely. 
  6. A blue gear icon next to the toggle will allow you to add additional security options.
  7. For recipients who may be unfamiliar with Virtru protected emails, you can let them know easily and conveniently with an unencrypted personalized message that you are the sender, and that it is safe to proceed with unlocking! Virtru toggle on blue

Once you are ready, simply hit Secure Send and your message will be delivered securely. You're all set! Congratulations on sending your first Virtru secure email!

Please know that you may be asked to reactivate Virtru from time to time.  For security purposes, Virtru will invalidate your activation status every 120 days.  To reactivate, just follow the prompts that you will see on your screen from Virtru when they appear. Where you normally see the Virtru toggle, just click Activate Virtru and you will be good to go!