Using Secure Webmail
- You'll be able to check private email securely anywhere in the world via a web browser.
If you're quitting your job but don't know what your new email address will be or if you're intending to take some time off work between jobs, you may consider setting up a free web-based email account with companies like Yahoo, Google or Hotmail. This allows you to send and receive messages without being tied to one particular computer, network or service provider.
If you do though, beware. Sending mail through your web browser using the most popular services is just about the least secure way you can send data over the Internet. The messages are not encrypted in any way and it's possible for anyone to access your account with just a little determination and technical skill.
There isn't much to say here except that if you want to continue using email without worrying about who reads it or has access to your computer, you're going to have to take precautions. People have lost their jobs by neglecting to do so.
Secure Email Providers
You should use a mail service that offers a greater level of security. One reputable system is run by Hushmail - they use a Java client and strong encryption. The only catch with this system is that for your message to be sent securely, the recipient must also have their own Hushmail account (though it will only take a few minutes for each party to set one up).
Another system to look into is PGP (Pretty Good Privacy), an encryption system that has been used by thousands of Internet users. The latest software is available at http://www.pgpi.com . PGP is based on a system of public and private encryption keys and is very secure. Unless you are suspected of passing details of your military's nuclear capabilities to a foreign state, it's unlikely that anybody will want to take the time and effort to decrypt your messages.
What you should stop doing immediately is using Hotmail for private communications - it's not in the least bit secure and it's anyone will be able to access your account from your PC when you're away from your desk.