Point-to-point encryption for preserving privacy

Tuesday, 8 April 2003, 11:48 AM EST

One of the easiest and most productive ways to assist in maintaining personal privacy online is to encrypt data that flows over a network. However, common protocols like POP, SMTP, HTTP, and IRC have no built-in encryption, leaving them open to various types of privacy invasion. This article describes a simple method of encrypting traffic as it travels across a potentially hostile LAN.

Is there a need for such protection? Well, if you use anyone's open 802.11 wireless ethernet network, or if you plug your personal computer into a free port at your office, or if you are a student at the University of Wyoming, or any other circumstance where someone could possibly be listening in on your traffic, it makes sense to take measures to preserve your privacy.

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