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Home / Tips and Tricks / The Simple Way to Use PGP to Encrypt Emails on Windows, Mac, and Linux «Null Byte :: WonderHowTo

The Simple Way to Use PGP to Encrypt Emails on Windows, Mac, and Linux «Null Byte :: WonderHowTo



To increase the security and integrity of an email account and its contents, you should use PGP on your Windows, Mac OS or Linux computer. This is usually the first thing security analysts do to protect communication with encryption, and everyone else should think about it, especially since there is an easy way to implement PGP that anyone can understand.

PGP stands for the uninitiated for Pretty Good Privacy an encryption program that creates encryption, signing and decryption of text, files, emails or entire disks. PGP uses a variety of hash techniques, data compression, symmetric key cryptography, and public key encryption to encrypt and decrypt data.

We will use the asymmetric encryption method. Using the asymmetric method, you create a public and private key and then download the public keys of the people you want to communicate with. If you use your public key, use it to encrypt an email to it, and then use your private key, which is mathematically linked to your public key, to automatically decrypt the message.

It works the other way too. Someone uses your public key to encrypt an email, sends it to you, and then decrypts it with your private key. To do this, we need to set up PGP with our current email account and then upload our public keys online to a central location so that other users can find them. Alternatively, you can also share the public key privately so that it is used by one person only.

Step 1
: Download and Install the E-Mail Client

First, we use Thunderbird as our e-mail client. To install it on Windows or Mac OS, just visit the Thunderbird website and click on the "Free Download" button, which will either download an EXE or DMG file. Once downloaded, open the file and install it like any other app you would download from the internet.

It's even easier on a Linux computer. Just open a root terminal and use the command apt-get below. Then follow the instructions on the screen to complete the installation.

  apt-get install thunderbird 

Step 2: Install the PGP add-on

After the e-mail client has been installed, you must configure an e-mail address. Open Thunderbird, and when prompted to receive a new email address, select "Skip and use my existing email address." If this popup does not appear, you should immediately see an option to create or set up a new email account, so select the popup.

Alternatively, you can click the top of the three-line icon on the right, select "Settings," then "Account Settings." You will see a drop-down for "Account activity", click on it and select "Add e-mail account".

Next, a small window appears for Mail Account Setup Enter your email address and password in the appropriate fields, select "Next" and follow the instructions on the screen, to finish adding your email account.

Step 3: Creating a Set of PGP Keys

Next, we want to create some PGP keys to encrypt and share our public keys into an index so that others can search and decrypt our message.

Open the menu again using the three-line icon in Thunderbird and select "Enigmail". Next, select "Key Management", click on "Generate" in the window and then "New Key Pair".

is a new window for configuring a new set of PGP keys for the email account. Your e-mail account should already be selected, but you must create a passphrase for the public and private key sets. Then select an expiration date and click "Generate Key".

You'll see a progress bar and message Take a few minutes to create the keys. Once the build is complete, a new prompt appears prompting you to create a revocation certificate.

A revocation certificate revokes the public key if the private key was compromised or if the password was not saved. So, go ahead and select "Create Certificate". Next, choose where you want to save the file; Either use a USB flash drive or store it in a safe place in a folder on your computer. After clicking "Save", you will need to enter your passphrase to confirm.

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Step 4: Distribute Your Public Key

When these steps are completed, you can upload your public key to the web or pass the public key to one or two selected people. The key is simple text so you can share it as a note file as you like. In order for people to send you encrypted emails, they need your public key to do the encryption.

Go back to the Key Management menu for Enigmail in Thunderbird, where you'll see the key you created earlier for the associated email address. Right-click the key, and then select "Upload Public Keys to Key Server" to load your public key into the Keyserver index for the world.

If you only want to share a limited group instead of a public server, if you right-click on your public key, you can either "Copy public keys to the clipboard" so that you can type them anywhere (it is long, so maybe not the best choice), "Export keys to file" B. "You can share them as you like, or" Send public keys by e-mail "so that you can send the file by e-mail instead. [19659030] The simple way to use PGP to encrypt emails on Windows, Mac, and Linux ” width=”532″ height=”532″ style=”max-width:532px;height:auto;”/>

Now Remember to share your public key and never your private key because the public key is used for encryption while the private one is used for the decryption part, also make sure that the receiver is performing the same steps as the public key must be downloaded.

Step 5: Download the Recipient's Public Key

Now others have your public key send encrypted messages, but you can not send them encrypted messages yet. Make sure you use PGP and have your public key uploaded to a server or sent directly to your server to add to the list of keys.

To download another person's public key from the server, go back to the "Key Management" menu for Enigmail in Thunderbird, then click the "Keyserver" tab and select "Search for Keys." Type in pop -up window, enter the recipient's e-mail address in the Search for key field and click "OK". The public key is added to your key manager.

If you import a file instead, select "File" in the "Key Management" window to find the option " Import key from file ". Select it, find the file and open it. Done

Step 6: Send an encrypted message

Next, you should write an email to test and then encrypt. Click the "Write" button in the top quick access bar for your Thunderbird email account to open a window to compose your email.

You can now send only encrypted messages to your recipient if you have downloaded the public key. If you want to send an encrypted message to more than one person, you must download all public keys.

After entering the recipient's e-mail address in the To field, the bar will show a lock icon above. If the lock is displayed in full color with a green check mark, your message will automatically be with that person encrypted. If it contains a red X, just send them a normal, unencrypted email.

Step 7: Decrypt a message to you

If someone sends you an email this way, they will is automatically decrypted when opened because the public key that encrypted it is mathematically linked to your private key. The same applies to your recipient who opens your e-mail at the end of it – it automatically decrypts as long as you have sent it with his public key.

Whether you send pictures to a loved one or send a confidential message to someone. You can use this encryption software to verify that your message has been sent without interruption.

Cover Picture of Kody / Null Byte; Screenshots of Nitro / Null Byte

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