can be a relatively simple process, or as difficult as the user
wants to make it. The degree of difficulty does not necessarily
relate to the security of the encryption method.
It is of
the utmost importance that the user understands, at a bare minimum,
the principals of encryption. Otherwise, he places both himself
and those to whom he sends messages at risk.
of the snake oil salesmen. It seems that every week, there's someone
hawking a "new, revolutionary, military grade, unbreakable"
encryption algorithm or method. "Caveat Emptor" with
such claims. A knowledgeable user will be much more likely to
weed through all of the snake oil pitches.
standard for encryption is PGP. There are those who will argue
this point for a variety of reasons, but the fact remains that
PGP is the most widely used and supported, and most readily available
available for almost every operating system, with a variety of
versions for each. The features and functionality of each version
should help determine which is best for you. The newer versions
of PGP include plugins for popular email clients, and some include
desktop security features as well.
Complete PGP Tutorial is HERE
also both international and U.S. versions of PGP. As of 9/16/99,
the U.S. Government has new, relaxed guidelines on export of encryption
technology. Just what that means remains to be seen.
available from these, and many other sites.