In This Chapter
Obtaining a Digital ID
Sending a signed message
Encoding a message
In the movies, computer hackers know everything — your credit card balance, Social Security number, what you ate for breakfast — everything. There doesn't seem to be a single scrap of personal information that a computer hacker in a movie can't find out.
Are real‐life computer hackers just as brilliant and dangerous? Not really. Most crimes involving theft of personal information don't come from hackers sneaking into personal computers. More often than not, these losers dig credit‐card slips out of a restaurant dumpster, or they just make a phone call and trick some poor slob into revealing a password.
Even though there isn't some hacker out there who knows what you bought at the Piggly Wiggly (or cares, for that matter), it may be wise to think about security when it comes to your e‐mail and personal information. If you work in a corporation, you may be required by law to maintain certain standards of security over the messages you send and receive.
Outlook includes features that enable you to keep your secrets secret, to keep your identity secure, and to be sure that the messages you receive actually came from the people who seem to have sent them. In most cases, you'll need to add some small program to Outlook to enable these advanced security features, but once you've installed these features, you never have to fuss with them again.
If security is ...