What Does the .p7m File Extension Represent?

What is the .p7m file extension?

.p7m files represent digitally signed and encrypted e-mails. These files are based on the Secure/Multipurpose Internet Mail Extension (S/MIME) standard.

The S/MIME standard provides e-mail clients two cryptographic services, namely digital signatures and e-mail encryption for better data security.

  • Digital signature ? These (digital signatures) are used for authenticating a message, ensuring its integrity and verifying its source.
  • E-mail encryption ? This method ensures that the information in the e-mail remains secure. To read the e-mail or view any files attached, an appropriate key is required. Without the key, all one can see is the encrypted message. The advantage of using this method is that the data remains secure even when the e-mail is intercepted in between or sent to a wrong address.

How do .p7m files ensure better data security?

E-mail messages and attachments sent through e-mail clients through S/MIME support are added to the .p7m envelope. The .p7m files are encrypted and thus the information stored cannot be extracted without the decryption key and the appropriate software. As a result, unauthorized people cannot view the message.

If your e-mail client is S/MIME enabled, you can configure your e-mail client to automatically retrieve the appropriate key that is required to decipher .p7m files and view the message as an ordinary e-mail.

Can .p7m files be viewed with the popular web-based e-mail services?

No, you cannot view .p7m files with web-based e-mail services, as they are not S/MIME enabled.

Names of the programs that can open a .p7m file

  • E-mail clients that are support S/MIME when the necessary key is available.
  • Cyptigo p7m Viewer, which is designed to open signed and encrypted e-mails.

What to do when you receive a file type error while opening unencrypted files

To fix file type errors while opening normal file types ? that are not encrypted ? you may use FileCure, which is a tool that allows you to easily open various file types in Windows even if the supported software/application is not installed on your computer.