Google is working on a Chrome extension called End-To-End which can help encrypt, decrypt, digital sign, and verify signed email messages within the browser, according to a post on Google Online Security Blog.
The demand of encrypting emails has increased because more and more people want to keep snoops from reading their emails. Currently, if you would like to send encrypted email messages to someone, you will have to be tech savvy enough to accomplish the task, and the recipient must be knowledge enough to encrypt and read the original email because the encryption/decryption process require a complicated public/private key generation and management. But thanks to Google, this Chrome extension will make the whole process simple enough for general users to send and receive encrypted emails without much hassle. Yes, I said “will”, because the extension is not available in Chrome Web Store yet because Google wants the community first to test and hack the extension (you will be financially rewarded if you can find security bugs in End-To-End) until Google feels the extension is ready for public release. If you are a developer and would like to test End-To-End, you can download the source code from Google Code: https://code.google.com/p/end-to-end/
If you are not a developer, then keep your fingers crossed for the official release of the extension, and in the mean time, start to switch your email to GMail if you are not using GMail.