The Internet is an open network through which information typically travels in a readable format. If a normal email message is intercepted on the way to a recipient, its contents can be read quite easily. And, because the Internet is just one large, worldwide network that relies on intermediary computers to direct traffic, many different people may have the opportunity to intercept a message in this way. Your Internet Service Provider ISP is the first recipient of an email message as it begins its journey to the recipient. Similarly, the recipient s ISP is the last stop for your message before it is delivered. Unless you take certain precautions, your messages can be read or tampered with at either of these points, or anywhere in between.