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POP3 is the most common ISP service for getting e-mail. In its default configuration it is not secure. ISPs with better internet service provider security policies will provide APOP and/or SSL to enhance ISP safety. APOP makes it tougher for others to get your password; SSL makes it tougher for others to get your password or read your mail. Neither guarantees full privacy, though. For that you'll need something like PGP or S/MIME.