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About Allstate

SecureMail FAQ's

Q. I forgot my Password and/or Username and cannot open the secure Allstate attachment. What can I do?

A. If you cannot remember your password, then you will be required to create a new password. All secure documents will be encrypted with your new password. You will not be able to open any previous secure documents, unless you remember your old password. After changing your password, please request the sender to send the document again. Please visit the Change Password Webpage to change your password

Q. What are the hardware and software requirements for opening a secure Allstate attachment?

A. In order to receive and view a secure Allstate email, the recipient needs the following:

Email client that accepts attachments.

Web Browser that accepts downloaded applets, if a binary attachment or multiple attachments are sent. The following browsers are supported:

Web Browser


Internet Explorer

5.x through the current 6.0.2

Netscape Navigator

4.79 through the current 7.1


5 or higher

b. A JVM must be available should the secure envelope require one to view the attachment.

  • A Microsoft JVM is available on Microsoft OS, with the exception of Windows XP. If running XP, you must install Service Pack 1
  • If you are using Microsoft JVM and have Sun Java installed, we recommend you disable Sun Java via Internet Options within IE.
  • Allstate supports Microsoft JVM and Sun J2SE versions 1.3.1, 1.4.0, 1.4.1, and 1.4.2.
  • If Microsoft JVM does not work for you and you choose to install the Sun J2SE we strongly recommend the latest revision of a version, in the J2SE case, we recommend 1.4.2. We do not support any Beta versions.

Microsoft JVM Download:

Sun Java Download:

Note: If using Sun Java, please ensure that you ahve the latest Java plug-in.

Q. I have more than one browser installed on my computer. How do I know which one gets launched when I open my attachment?

A. The secure Allstate attachment is an .html file. The browser that is associated with the Operating System for .html files is the one that gets launched when you open the attachment. Typically that is the default browser. Please see your Operating System documentation for additional information on "Registered File Types" to view and/or change this option.

Q. I am getting a dialog box asking me to download a "PostX Tools" applet. I was told I wouldn't need to install software to use this service. What is this applet, and why do I have to install it?

A. The service provides two methods to open the message: "Open" and "Open Online." The "Open" method allows your local computer to process (decrypt) the message and attachments (if any). However, some attachments require the "PostX Tools" applet to process the information. The "Open Online" method processes the message and attachments (if any) on a remote server and does not use your local computer - this would not require the download of the applet, as the local computer is not processing the message/attachments.

Each method has its pros and cons:

"Open" method

  • Pro: Message/Attachment viewing is generally faster as processing is done locally.
  • Con: Requires the "PostX Tools" applet to be downloaded to process some attachments. In most cases, the applet is cached to your computer (in your Temporary Internet Files) and only needs to be installed once. Clearing the Temporary Internet Files will remove the applet.

"Open Online" method

  • Pro: Does not require the "PostX Tools" applet to be downloaded.
  • Con: Message/Attachment viewing is generally slower as processing is done remotely.

Q. How can this be secure when there is no https in the URL?

A. HTTPS is not required as all the files are local to the file system. If any connectivity to the Internet is required, it is done via HTTPS. However, if you look at the URL, the source for the file is your local machine, "C:\Documents and Settings\<your_computer_name>\Local Settings\Temporary Internet Files". This connection is secure because there is no transmission of information outside your local computer.

  • Offline Envelopes - Content is encrypted with RC4 and Password is encrypted with using SALT and then SHA1.
  • Registered Envelopes - Username and Password are verified by sending an HTTPS | POST transmission to the Allstate server.

Q. I received an HTTP 500 Internal Server Error. What does this mean?

A. Technical Answer:

5xx codes are displayed when the server is aware it has an error. It is impossible to distinguish these cases in general and is only informational.

Recipient Answer:

If you get this error, return to the previous page using your Back button and try to complete the action again.

Q. After I'm logged into my account I get an error that says "Error While Processing Request: Null", then my session expires and I have to log back in. Why is this happening?

Internet Explorer

  • Navigate to the Toolsmenu, Internet Options. Click the Privacy tab.
  • Click the Advanced button
  • Check the box next to "Override automatic cookie handling"
  • Click the Accept radio under both First-Party Cookies and Third Party Cookies.
  • Check the box next to "Always Allow Session Cookies".


  • Navigate to the Edit menu, Preferences. Click the Privacy tab.
  • Double click Privacy & Security to expand the tree. Click Cookies.
  • Click the radio button next to "Enable all cookies" or "Enable cookies based on privacy settings".
  • If you selected the option "Enable cookies based on privacy settings", click the View button next to that option and select a privacy setting of medium or lower.

Q. I cannot open my message. Why?

A. Pop-up Blockers

Typically, pop-up blockers do not present a problem. However, depending upon your configuration they may. In that case, make sure that you have turned off/disabled any pop-up blockers you may have running.

Web-based Email Systems

If you are having problems opening the attachment in a web-based email system, you should save the .html file to disk and then open the file.

  • For Outlook: Right-click the attachment and select "Save As"
  • Outlook Express: Click the paperclip and select "Save attachments"

In addition, both the Hotmail and Google mail systems render the envelope in such a way as to make it appear to your system as a pop-up.

Q. Why do I experience a delay between entering my password and having the secure document display?

A. A large attachment can cause a delay in the document being displayed.

Q. What is a secure Allstate attachment?

A. A secure Allstate attachment, also known as an Allstate Envelope, is a personalized secure email attachment with a file extension of .html. It contains a secured document sent using the Allstate Software. Verification is completed using a previously determined login/password. Upon verification, the contents of the attachment displays.

Q. I have received the email message but there is no attachment embedded in it. What can cause this?

A. Some email client software and ISPs do not allow attachments to email messages. Additionally, some ISPs and LANs have policies set up that strip JavaScript off the attachment. Contact your email vendor, ISP, or Corporate LAN Administrator to confirm if such a limitation exists.

Q. I am using Outlook Express and when I tried to open the attachment it was grayed out. Why is this happening? It worked fine in Outlook

A. The Microsoft Outlook Express default install does not allow attachments to be received. Because all of our encrypted envelopes are attachments, you must configure Outlook Express to accept file attachments. To do this, do the following:

  • Within Outlook Express, navigate to the Tools menu, Options. Click the Security tab.
  • Uncheck the box next to "Do not allow attachments to be saved or opened that could potentially be a virus".

Q. Why can't I open my secure Allstate attachment?

A. Check to see if you have a JVM installed

Go to:

In the middle of the page is a grey box. If that box fills up with values you have java installed. If the grey box stays blank you do not have java installed. The only version of Windows Internet Explorer that did not come with Microsoft JVM is the default Windows XP installation. To check your version of Windows:

  • Open My Document folder
  • Click on Help
  • Click on About Windows

If it displays Microsoft Windows Version 5.0 then you will need to install Windows XP Service Pack 1. Please see the "How to update Windows" question below.If you do not have Windows XP and still have problems opening your envelope, you may download the Sun JVM:

Verify that you have the latest Microsoft updates

  • Click Start.
  • Click Windows Update.
  • Follow the instructions on the web page.
  • Once you have completed updating the Operating System try to open the envelope again.

Check the browser settings

For Internet Explorer, check the security settings.

  • Within IE, navigate to the Tools menu, Internet Options.
  • Click the Security tab.
  • Click Internet.
  • Click Default Level and select a privacy setting of medium or lower
  • Click Apply then click OK.
  • Close all instances of IE.
  • Restart IE and try to open the envelope.

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