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    Electronic Mail Security

    This is a preliminary version of the page that will explain issues related to the securing of your electronic mail.

    The two most important security characteristics of electronic mail are confidentiality and integrity. For mail that containt condifential information, you may want to protect that data from being divulged to those lisenting to the network when the messages are sent, protect it from disclosure to those who break into the mail servers on which the messages are stored, or even protect the information from those that steal or otherwise gain physical access to your laptop, desktop, or PDA.

    Even if you use encrypted communication such as SSL to connect to a web based mail server, the email you send might still appear unencrypted when it is sent across the network to the intended recipient.

    In addition to confidentiality, it is important also to protect the integrity of messages so that an attacker does not change the messages you send, for example to change the message to a broker telling him to pay $10 so that he pays $100 instead. This kind of protection is best provided using digital signatures.

    The best way to protect your messages is to encrypt them using programs that support S/MIME, or Open PGP (for example, GPG).