How to encrypt your emails using PGP to keep your secrets safe

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June 4, 2015 by Bill Johnson


Encrypt your emails using PGP

Earlier in June, Facebook announced it would be enabling its users to share their OpenPGP public key on their profile and all notification emails sent by the social network could also be encrypted end-to-end too.

But what is PGP? If you have been spooked by Edward Snowden’s revelations about governments collecting and spying on email and social media communications, then you might find it handy to start encrypting your emails using Pretty Good Privacy (PGP).

PGP works by offering end-to-end encryption for your emails so only you and your intended recipient can open them. Both parties have two keys – a public key and a private one.

You share the public key with other people so they can use it to scramble their messages into gibberish and send it to you. When you receive the scrambled message, you use your private key to unscramble the message.

So how can you set this up? Here is IBTimes UK’s super-simple guide to setting up PGP encryption.

We have found an easy-to-use, free way to get PGP encryption on both Windows PCs and Macs, namely Mailvelope, which is a browser extension for Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox that enables you to encrypt any webmail service you might use, such as Yahoo! Mail, Gmail, Hotmail or GMX.

If you have intermediate computing knowledge and want to encrypt email clients on your computer, you can also download GPG4Win (for Windows) or GPG Suite (for Mac),

and the Electronic Frontier Foundation has a comprehensive guide for setting it up that takes 30 to 60 minutes.

Read more: How to encrypt your emails using PGP to keep your secrets safe

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