PEC, instructions for use. Here’s why to activate the certified mail

Introduced with the DPR n. 68 of February 11, 2005, the Certified Electronic Mail is one of the first and fundamental pieces of the Italian digital strategy. Aimed at a wide public - it can be used by private citizens, companies and public bodies - the PEC allows you to send electronic communications with legal value.

Although the similarities with normal e-mail are many - especially in its operation on the user side - the certified mail differs in some fundamental aspects. On the security front, for example, PEC uses hacker-proof communication protocols, which protect communications from possible man-in-the-middle attacks. A PEC email also guarantees the time of sending and receiving the message, as well as the integrity of its content. Information that the user can then possibly use in the process in case a dispute arises.

How does the Certified E-Mail work

After you have decided to open the PEC box, you can start sending email messages with legal value and certified content. This is made possible by the protocols and technologies used in the creation of the email. The service, in fact, provides three different phases of operation: sending, receiving, issuing of the receipt of delivery.

In the sending phase, the manager of the Certified Electronic Mail service of the sender performs the functions of postal operator "proper", dealing with the formal control of the message and its enveloping. Unlike what happens with ordinary e-mail, in fact, in the case of PEC, the message is not sent, but an electronic envelope (S/MIME type) containing - in the form of an attachment - the message of the sender and other files. It is this transmission envelope that allows to certify the time of sending (it is accompanied, in fact, of a time stamp issued in the same moment in which the user presses the "Send" button) and the content of the communication.

Once sent, the PEC email is received by the certified mail manager of the recipient of the communication. It is its task to verify the integrity of the envelope and the data of the sender manager. In particular, it is checked the electronic signature of the service that has dealt with the sending of the digital missive, so as to ascertain its real identity. If the message passes all the formal checks, it is delivered in the recipient's box and, at the same time, a delivery receipt is issued to the sender.

SMEs, professionals and Public Administrations: PEC obbligatoria per legge

Dal 2012 la posta certificata è diventata il mezzo di comunicazione privilegiato tra attività produttive, imprese (di ogni dimensione) e amministrazioni pubbliche. Con il Decreto Legge 179 del 2012 (convertito poi nella Legge 221 del 2012) tutte le aziende, i professionisti e le PA devono dotarsi di una casella PEC, onde evitare di essere sanzionati.

  • Professionisti. Per i professionisti iscritti a un albo (giornalisti, geometri, ingegneri, architetti, ecc.) l’obbligo di avere un’email PEC è scattato già nel 2009
  • Ditte individuali. Da fine giugno 2013 tutte le Partite IVA e tutte le ditte individuali devono aver dichiarato il proprio indirizzo di posta certificata al registro imprese. Ovviamente, l’obbligatorietà della PEC vale anche per tutte le nuove P.IVA e nuove ditte aperte dal luglio 2013 in poi
  • Società. Discorso analogo per le aziende, indipendentemente dalla loro dimensione. PMI e grandi imprese, dunque, hanno l’obbligo di aver attivo una casella PEC sin dal novembre 2011 e comunicato al registro imprese il loro indirizzo
  • Enti pubblici. Gli enti della Pubblica Amministrazione sono stati i primi a dover adempiere all’obbligo di creare una PEC

Con il Decreto Legge 193 del 2016, inoltre, è stato stabilito che le notifiche relative agli avvisi e atti del fisco siano inviate via email PEC. L’obbligo di notifica con posta certificata è valido per imprese, professionisti e ditte individuali, ma anche i singoli cittadini ne possono far richiesta, dopo aver adeguatamente indicato l’indirizzo alla sede dell’Agenzia delle Entrate di competenza.

Vantaggi della PEC per il cittadino

Pur non essendo obbligatoria, la Posta Elettronica Certificata può essere attivata da qualunque cittadino italiano. The advantages of the PEC box, in fact, are many: the already mentioned security of personal data, for example, but also the legal value that take their communications against public bodies and companies. In addition to this, there is also the saving that certified mail guarantees compared to normal registered mail: while the former has a fixed annual cost that is independent of the number of messages and attachments sent, paper mail has variable costs (related to the weight of the message) for each sending. In short, if a citizen needs to communicate with the PA, professionals, companies could find in PEC a means of communication easy to use, reliable and above all economical.

How to create a PEC box

Unlike traditional email services, there is no free PEC. Those who decide to open a certified mailbox, therefore, will have to turn to a private operator who will provide the service against payment of a fixed annual subscription. The procedures to create the PEC, however, are not complex: all you need is an identity document, the tax code and a few minutes free. During registration you will be asked to enter personal data (including the postal address and a "normal" email address), to choose a password and provide consent to the processing of data and acceptance of contractual conditions.

Following these steps, for example, you can create a PEC box with the service Libero Mail PEC, among the most secure and advanced in Italy. At a cost of 14.99 euros, the user will have a certified email with space of 1GB and the ability to send and receive messages with email clients such as Microsoft Outlook or Mozilla Thunderbird. The certified mail service of Libero, moreover, can be used from any device with an Internet connection: it will be sufficient to access the PEC webmail client to send and receive messages from computers, smartphones and tablets.

How to use PEC

If you already know how to send an email, then you are one step ahead. In fact, you're well over halfway. As mentioned at the beginning, in fact, the similarities between a normal email service and a PEC email are many, especially in terms of use and operation. Once you understand how to create a certified mailbox, that's it: after opening your account, you'll just need to access the PEC webmail to send messages to companies, professionals or public administrations. In the vast majority of cases, in fact, the user interface that you will be faced with is the same as the web client of a normal email. In order to use the certified mail it will be enough to press the button "Create new message" (or similar), insert the PEC email address of the recipient and fill in the various fields. After sending the message you will receive two receipts: acceptance and delivery.

The PEC acceptance receipt is signed with the electronic signature of the sender's manager and contains the information about the sending of the message. If we want to make a comparison with the registered paper mail, it's the coupon that the post office issues at the counter and that certifies the shipment of the letter.

The receipt of delivery of the certified mail is signed, instead, with the electronic signature of the receiver's manager and it's issued as soon as the message is delivered in the PEC box. Remaining on the subject of comparisons, it is the coupon that you receive at home once the letter has been delivered to the address indicated: the proof, in short, that the letter (or package) has reached its destination.