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Enhancing Email Security

By its very nature, an ordinary email message is as insecure as a postcard. It takes only the most rudimentary technical knowledge to "spoof" a message so that it appears to be coming from someone other than the actual sender. In fact, a favorite hacker trick is to send bogus mail messages that appear to have come from famous individuals such as Bill Gates. And because email travels in packets across the Internet, it's theoretically possible for anyone to intercept a transmission, read a message sent to someone else, and possibly change the contents of that message.

Outlook Express includes two features that enhance email security, although neither offers foolproof protection from a skilled and determined data thief. Encryption lets you encode the contents of a message so that only a recipient with a matching code key can decipher the text. A digital signature tacked onto the end of a message guarantees that the message originated from the sender and has not been tampered with in transit.


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