NEW YORK -- Verizon has made it easier for businesses to protect their e-mail correspondence. They can now sign up for Verizon Secure Mail either online or by calling a Verizon customer service center. Previously, the e-mail security product could only be ordered online.
Verizon Secure Mail encrypts e-mail messages to help safeguard the privacy of their contents as they travel over the Internet.
The Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, a nonprofit consumer information and advocacy organization, found that since February 2005 almost 82 million people have had their personal information potentially exposed by unauthorized access to the computer systems of companies and institutions.
"There are more than 1 billion e-mail users sharing information worldwide, and securing that information should be a top priority," said Jay A. Behrens, director of emerging services for Verizon. "Interception of e-mail can take place anywhere -- in an office, hotel or Internet cafe. It's easy for a hacker to access free software to capture an e-mail and read its content."
Verizon Secure Mail meets the trusted encryption standards (PKI, X.509, S/MIME) that allow e-mail messages to be sent securely. The service also verifies and authenticates that the message has not been altered, allows it to be opened only by the intended recipient, and allows users to lock e-mail that they receive so it cannot be viewed by others. All deleted e-mail from Verizon Secure Mail will remain encrypted.
Verizon Secure Mail is especially suitable for businesses such as law firms, medical practices and financial services agents, which are required by law to keep private information secure, especially when it is transmitted via electronic mail.
Behrens said, "Most businesses, as well as individuals, have installed anti-spam and anti-virus at the gateway, but they only offer frontline protection and neither prevents anyone from accessing the content in the e-mail. A secure message sent via Verizon Secure Mail is encrypted, digitally signed and unalterable."
Verizon Secure Mail works this way: After registering for the service, users are prompted to download a plug-in. Before sending an e-mail message, users just click on the "Secure" button on their toolbar, and their message – along with any attachments – is immediately encrypted, digitally signed and sent to the recipient. If the recipient is another registered Verizon Secure Mail user, the user can open the message after entering his or her password.
Nonsubscribers can also receive encrypted e-mail without downloading any software or registering for the service. To view the message, nonsubscribers are directed to the Verizon Message pickup center where they can read the e-mail after answering a secret question known only to the sender and recipient.
Verizon Secure Mail, powered by Echoworx's encrypted e-mail software, is available nationwide for $6.95 per month per mailbox for users of Microsoft Outlook and Outlook Express e-mail services. Customers can order Verizon Secure Mail online directly at http://business.verizon.net/Shop/BroadbandExtras/SecureMail/Default.aspx or call 888-649-9500.
Verizon offers a variety of products and services that enable businesses to customize the solutions they need to better compete in the marketplace. In addition to broadband Internet access, solutions include security suite, online backup storage and communications management tools.
Recently, Verizon was cited by J.D. Power and Associates 2007 Major Provider Business Telecommunications Services Study for the "Highest Customer Satisfaction With Small/Midsize Business Data Service Providers."
For more information on Verizon's products and services for small businesses, visit www.verizon.com/business or call 888-649-9500. For news, resources and more tools for Verizon's business customers, visit, the Verizon Small Business Center at http://business.verizon.net.
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), headquartered in New York, is a leader in delivering broadband and other wireline and wireless communication innovations to mass market, business, government and wholesale customers. Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network, serving 60.7 million customers nationwide. Verizon's Wireline operations include Verizon Business, which delivers innovative and seamless business solutions to customers around the world, and Verizon Telecom, which brings customers the benefits of converged communications, information and entertainment services over the nation's most advanced fiber-optic network. A Dow 30 company, Verizon has a diverse workforce of more than 238,000 and last year generated consolidated operating revenues of more than $88 billion. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.