Welcome to Digital Financial Network!

Primarily, DFN's goal is to provide network users with resources which will enable them to expand their range of networking options and broaden the global informational conversation to be as inclusive as is possible, thusly our focus on new economic and individual financial innovations now emerging and ever evolving.

In particular, we are focused upon new network-enabled economics and network-centered personal finance tools. We believe that these represent the future of the broader global economic and financial marketplaces - behind which, naturally, flow more individual freedoms.

Maintaining Personal Privacy and Security in the Age of Networks

By now, everyone is familiar with the little "lock" icon in their web browser which indicates that a connection is secure. The technology behind this security protocol is called SSL (or "Secure Sockets Layer") and it is the very important piece of network infrastructure which enables things like commerce (such as credit card transactions) to take place over the internet (which is, largely, not secure).

Email Security Is Often Overlooked

While we are comfortable entering our payment details over a "secure" browser connection, we share an incredible amount of information (from an ever-expanding variety of devices) via email. Everything from personal health information to financial details to sensitive (but unprotected) business-related information is sent bouncing around the internet in plain text, for anyone who is monitoring network traffic looking for these types of information to intercept, collect, and...

...we hope that's the worst that they'll do with it - collect it - but, often, the people who do such things are not "well-intentioned", and, often, even if they are, the temptation to use such information for nefarious purposes, once they've collected (or from their point of view: "once we've shared enough of it with them") is overwhelming for them not to "exploit".

We all know what, say, FaceBook (who are under enormous public scrutiny) keeps trying to do with the personal and private information that people willingly share with one another (and, then, by proxy, with FaceBook, since all of this sharing happens on their computers, over the internet). FaceBook sees everything - posted by anyone - regardless of any privacy settings or security measures you may personally take, to try to keep your own private information, well... private.

You can pick and choose - wisely - what information you share on a public social networking platform - to protect yourself - but, everyone uses email, constantly, from their laptops, home computers, mobile phones, etc - and almost no one thinks of email as "public", even though it may bounce from your phone, to a cell tower, to an ISP, through 20 other computers on the internet, and, finally, to whomever you emailed. Not so private, now, is it?

Email Encryption: The Best Solution

Just as SSL (the little lock icon) protects you when you're paying for a book, with your credit card, at Amazon, technologies exist to protect your emails from prying eyes that may be "on the line" between you and whomever you are emailing. These technologies are referred to, broadly, as "email encryption", which just means that you don't send an email, you send a random jumble of letters that are then decoded by the recipient.

There are a number of companies offering such solutions - and a lot of new legislation forcing companies (financial service providers and healthcare related companies, in particular) to begin using such services when they communicate with their clients, so the email (and sensitive information inside it) is secure and encrypted.

ZixCorp is one such provider of end-to-end email encryption services. Their approach is a bit different, however, in that they have simplified the process to the point where integration with enterprise servers or mobile devices (smart phones, capable of email) is seamless. The way this is achieved is that everyone who is a customer of ZixCorp is included in their "directory" - which currently includes over 25 million people, and big government entities like the Securities and Exchange Commission, as well as big healthcare companies like Humana and BlueCross/BlueShield - and anyone who is in the directory (or who works for a company or entity which is in the directory) can communicate via encrypted email with anyone else in the directory, without having to go through tons of steps to send or open an encrypted email.

ZixCorp's mobile email encryption solution, called "ZixMobility", integrates with mobile devices like the iIphone, Google's Android phones, Blackberry devices, and just about any other mobile device capable of email.

The interesting part about this approach to encrypting email is that, since it's seamless to the user, and since all keys are kept within ZixCorp's own directory, the security is not only very tight, but it's also really easy to install and use, no matter the application and no matter the type of device you're using to connect to the internet to use email.

In the same way that SSL (Secure Socket Layers) made it safe to transmit your credit card number to an online merchant, ZixCorp seems poised to make it safe and secure to use e-mail.

In fact, the man who invented SSL, Dr. Taher El Gamal, is on the board of directors of ZixCorp. But no matter what email encryption solution you choose (and there are many out there), it's definitely time to start paying attention to who (else) may be reading your sensitive email communications - and to make sure you're using some kind of email encryption software system.