How to secure e-mail

E-mail is one of the great inventions of all time. But the risk of someone snooping in your private correspondence is unfortunately always present. A Vancouver company is offering a free service that promises to make your e-mail truly “eyes-only” to your intended recipients. offers consumers PE-mail, a service that uses the encryption capabilities already built into leading Web browsers like Netscape and Explorer. The software gives users free access to secure messaging from within the common, POP-based e-mail clients most of us use.

To use the service, you simply set up a free email account at and create a corresponding “digital certificate” that prevents snoopers from reading your e-mail. The free certificates follow industry-standard protocols, letting you communicate with any other compliant certificate holder.

Identity filtered
Along with securing the content of your messages, PrivacyX also secures the identity of its users. This is done with anonymous registration and filters that remove routing details from your message headers.

“A PE-mail address is much like a Swiss bank account,” said Douglas Whorrall, Privac president. “We not only provide the highest degree of security to our clients, we guard their anonymity. In the case of PrivacyX, even we don’t know who you are.”

The result is that PrivacyX users can communicate in complete anonymity. Users only reveal the e-mail addresses and screen names they select when they’re setting up their PrivacyX accounts. Whorrall says the safeguards are designed to bring real privacy to a medium that gives many users an” inappropriate sense” of security.

“You wouldn’t write a private message with someone looking over your shoulder,” he says. “So why distribute the message while other people are watching? PrivacyX puts you back in control of your messages and your identity.”