Protecting your files using Sensitivity Labels

Sensitivity labels are used to add an additional layer of protection to your files or emails. They allow you to classify documents as confidential or highly confidential labels which once applied, determine what users can do with that file.

You can use sensitivity labels to enforce encryption of the file or apply a Confidential footer to the content. For example, using the Confidential label will encrypt the content and apply a Confidential footer to the content. The labels can also be used to classify a file as being ‘Personal’ for non-business related data or ‘Public’ if that business data has been specifically prepared for public consumption.

The following table displays the Sensitivity Labels that are available in your Microsoft 365 tenant and their intended uses:


Using Sensitive Labels

Sensitivity labels can be used in any Microsoft Office application (Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint etc). If you are using the official Outlook mobile app, you can apply sensitivity labels when sending emails from your smartphone or tablet. For all Microsoft Office applications, the process for applying them is the same:

1. On the Home tab, select Sensitivity
Important: The Sensitivity options are not visible if you are not using a Microsoft 365 Business or Enterprise subscription.


2. Choose the sensitivity label that applies to your file or email:
To remove a sensitivity label that has already been applied to a file, unselect it from the Sensitivity

What happens when I apply a sensitivity label?

When you apply a sensitivity label, the label information will persist with your document or email, even as it is shared between devices, applications, and cloud services. Applying a sensitivity label may also result in changes to your document or email according to your organization’s configuration, such as:

  • Encryption may be applied to your document or email
  • A header or footer may appear in your document or email
  • A watermark may appear in your document