In this paper, an efficient yet simple selective encryption technique is proposed based on Saw-Tooth space filling curve, pixels of interest, non-linear chaotic map and singular value decomposition. The core idea of the proposed scheme is to scramble the pixel positions by the means of Saw-Tooth space filling curve followed by the selection of significant pixels using pixels of interest method. Then the diffusion process is done on the significant pixels using a secret image key obtained from non-linear chaotic map and singular value decomposition. Finally, a reliable decryption process is proposed to construct original image from the encrypted image. The analysis and experimental results show that the proposed scheme can achieve various purposes of selective encryption and is computationally secure. © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.