Before giving out confidential information, such as credit card details, always ensure that the online service uses a secure SSL connection. SSL encrypts the contents that are transmitted between your computer and the web page server and facilitates the authentication of a website.
You can recognise a secure website by the lock icon next to the browser address bar and the letters "https" (as opposed to "http") at the beginning of a web address.
When you click on the lock icon, the browser will display the authentication information of the web page. The web address included in the information must correspond to the address in the address bar of your browser.
Use a secure connection in your e-mail program. Configuring the e-mail program to use a secure connection requires you to change the connection settings. Your e-mail service provider will give you instructions on how to use a secure connection. The secure connection protects the connection between your computer and the mail server from eavesdropping.
When necessary, you should also encrypt e-mail messages that contain confidential information. You can encrypt an e-mail message using a separate encryption method. You and the recipient have to agree on which encryption method to use. Usually, the recipient has to use the same encryption program for decrypting the message or know the encryption password.
One way to encrypt message contents is to use e-mail encryption software, such as PGP (Pretty Good Protection). You can also send the contents that you mean to encrypt as a password protected attachment.
The recipient's e-mail address cannot be encrypted because it is used for transmitting the message to the recipient.
Internet service providers should consider which contents require protection. Not all contents need necessarily be encrypted. When assessing the need, it may be useful to consider who might benefit from reading the messages.
Confidential information or details related to means of payment should always be sent over a secure internet connection.