Keeping the contents of E-mail messages private is a very important practice in E-commerce, especially if the E-mail messages could contain personal information such as credit card numbers for your customers. While using secure protocols to check and send E-mail messages helps protect this information, the best protection is to encrypt the E-mail message itself.

There are two excellent tools for encrypting the contents of your E-mail messages. Pretty Good Privacy (PGP) is a well known and frequently used tool for encrypting E-mail messages. PGP Formmail is designed to use PGP when sending E-mail messages from Web based forms. GNU Privacy Guard (GnuPG) is an open-source and free alternative to PGP.

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