Over at the Google Gmail blog, they describe how to use encrypted email from your Gmail account. It appears that a user can opt in or out to encrypt their mail. As noted on the blog, encrypting may slow done the email process. Google also states that:

We care about your security today just as much as we did when we launched, which is why we’re constantly working on improvements like the recently launched last account activity and remote sign out. Today, we’re making it even easier for you to use https to protect your mail every time you access it. We’ve added an option to Settings to always use https. If you don’t regularly log in via unencrypted wireless connections at coffee shops or airports or college dorms, then you might not need this additional layer of security. But if you want to always use https, then this setting makes it super easy. Whenever you forget to type https://mail.google.com, we’ll add the https for you. If you already have the https URL bookmarked, using this setting will ensure you access your account via https even when you don’t use your bookmark. Any http link to Gmail (for example, the one at the top of Google.com) will be automatically redirected to https.


We’re in the process of rolling this feature out to all Gmail and Google Apps users, so check back in your Settings menu if you don’t see it right away. In the meantime, you can go directly to https://mail.google.com right now if you’re nervous about snoops. (Or https://mail.google.com/a/example.com if your Google Apps domain is example.com.) Google Apps Premier Edition admins will also be able to select SSL connections for their users via a new preference in the control panel we’ll be rolling out shortly.

Make sure that you read the entire blog posting. Some of what Google offers, like Google Toolbar, may not work properly with https as of yet.

What do you think? Is sending email that is encrypted important to you?

Comments welcome.

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