Security and Confidentiality of Personal Information Sent Via E-mail of Vital Importance During Open Enrollment Season

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Consumers need to use a secure e-mail service when transmitting personal information during open enrollment season in order to ensure it doesn't fall into the wrong hands.

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Most companies that are required to comply with government regulations such as HIPAA are aware of the regulations regarding transmitting personal information via e-mail

Late October and early November is traditionally the time of year when people are eligible to make changes to their company-sponsored benefit plans (also known as "Open Enrollment").

To select life insurance, health insurance and even flexible spending accounts and daycare benefits, personal information including social security numbers, dates of birth, and details regarding medical records are being transmitted --and increasingly this is being done via e-mail and the Internet. Consumers and business owners alike are at risk every time they send personal information via e-mail, unless that e-mail is protected by a secure e-mail service.

"Most companies that are required to comply with government regulations such as HIPAA are aware of the regulations regarding transmitting personal information via e-mail," says Jeff Grosman, Senior Vice President of Product Marketing and Management with Network Solutions. "However, as more information is transmitted via e-mail, many consumers do not realize how easy it can be for a criminal to gain access to their personal information, including social security numbers and medical records. Even a seemingly innocent e-mail message between a husband and wife regarding their annual health insurance elections can put their personal information at risk if it isn't protected via an e-mail security program."

Many people are not aware that Internet Service Providers (ISPs) sometimes store copies of your e-mail messages on their mail servers before they are delivered. The backups of these can remain up to several months on their server, even if you delete them in your mailbox, making the content of any email message sent unencrypted vulnerable to prying eyes.

Companies such as Network Solutions® offer e-mail security services that help ensure that an e-mail isn't tampered with while it is being transmitted from sender to receiver. MessageGuard™ is a subscription-based service that allows businesses and consumers to easily and affordably send and receive encrypted e-mail messages. The service was designed to allow anyone to easily and affordably send e-mails safely, knowing that only the intended recipient(s) can open the messages. With MessageGuard, customers can send secure e-mail messages and attachments to anyone, even non-MessageGuard subscribers, regardless of the recipient's e-mail service provider. Using award-winning Identity-Based Encryption (IBE) technology, the service does not require users to have an existing relationship with the recipient, so there is no need to exchange passwords, keys or certificates like other competitive services on the market.

MessageGuard™ is available to all Outlook® and Outlook® Express users (as well as Network Solutions Webmail customers) for $9.95 per month per e-mailbox or $99.50 per year per e-mailbox. Volume and term discounts are also available.

For more information on e-mail security and MessageGuard, visit Network Solutions online pressroom. For more information on Network Solutions, visit NetworkSolutions.com.

About Network Solutions:
Network Solutions® is the original domain name registrar with 28 years of experience of making it affordable and simple for its clients to build and manage an online presence. The leading provider of Web solutions for small businesses, Network Solutions offers a full range of Internet services including Web hosting and design, e-mail and secure e-mail services, SSL certificates, e-commerce software, search engine marketing and domain name registration. For more information on these offerings, please visit networksolutions.com.

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Susan Wade
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