For years now I’ve been signing my email messages (on and off) using the OpenPGP standard. That means that recipients can verify my identity and that the message was not altered in transit. In all that time, I know of only 3 or 4 people who ever did that. The sad reality is that you have to install an OpenPGP plugin for your mail client, and no one wants to do that.
Starting today I’ve switched to signing all of my emails using something called an S/MIME certificate. It is similar to PGP in that it allows the recipient to verify my identity and the validity of the message, but it works better in most circumstances because S/MIME support is built into almost all modern email clients.
There are several technical reasons why PGP is generally a better idea than S/MIME. I won’t list them here for the benefit of my non-technical audience. I will say that all of my emails now contain the following text:
I digitally sign my email messages for security and identity verification.
More information: /email-security.html
So if you want more info, that’s the place to go!