You've arrived . . .
If you're using Apple's Mac OS X I strongly recommend reading through François Joseph de Kermadec's article on how to set up encrypted email. Even if you're using another platform, this article might be a good place to start. However, a more general tutorial, authored by Mark Noble, is also available.
Anyway, here's the short story.
- Standard email is not a secure means of communication, PERIOD! Every single email that you send is traveling through many hands, and if your emails are being sent unprotected, they're subject to being read or changed. Worse still, someone could easily impersonate you.
- If your email client supports S/MIME (Secure/Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions), you can easily sign and encrypt your messages. Thawt™ offers free certificates that are easily obtainable and will allow you to sign and encrypt your messages. Furthermore, once your certificate is validated through the notary process, your certificate will bear your name.
- Interested, then go to Thawte™ to learn more