VeriSign has added additional protocols to its Digital IDs that support encrypted email via the latest Web browsers from Netscape and Microsoft.
VeriSign has added support for the Secure Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions (S/MIME) protocol, a budding standard for secure communications. S/MIME enabled email software can be used to verify the identity of senders and receivers. Both Netscape's Communicator and Microsoft's Internet Explorer 4.0 support S/MIME.
The announcement reflects VeriSign's efforts to strengthen its leading position as an issuer of digital certificates that vouch for the identity of an individual or Web site on the Net. They also aim to make the Internet easier to use and to convince users that the Internet is a safe medium for both electronic commerce and communications.
Also today, VeriSign and Netscape said they have teamed to allow VeriSign's Digital IDs to be used with Netscape's In-Box Direct news delivery program. In-Box Direct users can sign up for a free trial version of Digital ID, or can purchase a full registered version of the security software for $9.95.
VeriSign is also is expected to announce this week that it is joining a consumer privacy program sponsored by eTrust, a privacy initiative of Electronic Frontier Foundation and CommerceNet.