Encrypt Gmail

You can use a script Gmail Encrypt to add encryption to the emails you write in Gmail.

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It uses public key encryption and is implemented in an RSA type scheme in Javascript.

  • Keys can be exchanged securely as you can safely place your public key anywhere.
  • A seperate public key is required for each person, because they are maintained publically, it is significantly easier to keep track of them.
  • All your received emails can be decrypted at any time using your private key.
  • The private key, obviously, needs to remain private for this to work.

[tags]gmail, encryption, secure email[/tags]

How to encrypt your email using Thunderbird and PGP

Any email messages that you send move across a vast array of servers around the internet and on each server the information gets copied. Anyone with access to those servers – or someone who is sniffing packets along the way – can read your email messages if they are sent in plain text.

One way to prevent this is to encrypt your email. This makes it so no one can read your message without permission, including your company email administers. Email encryption can be easy, free and offers strong protection against prying eyes.

Email encryption works like a lock with a key. The lock is called a “public key” which is a series of characters anyone can look at and the key that you unlock it with is called a “private key”. The software takes the message and the public key and jumbles up the message using an algorithm built into the software. The private key is then used by the recipient to undo the jumbling process.

The tools you need are PGP which stands for Pretty Good Privacy and email software that works with PGP such as Thunderbird with the Enigmail extension. You’ll also need to download a the free GNUPGP software for Windows.
Making it work on your computer.

  1. Download the software listed above.
  2. Run the GPGP installer which comes with GNUPGP. It should put GNUPGP under your Program Files directory.
  3. Run the Thunderbird installer.
  4. Open Thunderbird and then go to them follow in the menu bar Tools -> Options -> Extensions -> Install New Extension, and then choose the Enigmail extension file that you downloaded.
  5. Restart Thunderbird with Enigmail installed, you should now see a menu item for OpenPGP. Open it and go to Preferences. There you’ll find a dialog to point to your GnuPGP binary. Click Browse. On my machine, GPG was installed under Program Files\GNU\GnuPG\gpg.exe.
  6. Now you’ll need to generate your public/private key pair. From the OpenPGP menu item, choose Key Management. From the Generate menu, choose New Key Pair. Choose the email address you want to create a key for, and set a passphrase. Hit the “Generate Key” button, and relax – it can take a few minutes.When it’s done, you have the chance to generate a “revocation certificate.” This certificate can invalidate your public key just in case your private key is ever compromised. Go ahead and get your revocation certificate and save it.

Once your done with all that, you’re all set to send encrypted mail. To find someone’s PGP key, from the OpenPGP menu, choose Key Management. From the Keyserver menu, choose Search. Search for another PGP user by name or email address and add his or her key to your key manager. Once it’s in there you will be able to encrypt mail to that person.

Then, compose your message as usual. Encrypt it by clicking the little key down on the lower right of your compose window. You can also cryptographically sign your message to prove it’s you; that’s the little pencil. Both of these buttons will turn green to show that they’re active.

Now, nobody will be able to look at your messages.

[tags]thunderbird, pgp, encrypted email, secure email[/tags]

What is encryption?

The process of encrypting data  means to make it so that it is unreadable to anybody except the the person who is supposed to ge the data. When non-secured messages are sent over the Internet, it is virtually impossible to determine how many people may have access to the equipment being used, without physically securing the wires used to transport the message.

The next best thing to physically securing the equipment is to employ a method that makes the data useless to everyone except for the intended recipient.

Encryption uses mathematical algorithms to change a message into what appears like gibberish. If the recipient has the confidential “key” needed to “decrypt” the message, the data will be changed back from gibberish into the original message prior to encryption. The recipient will provide a password or passphrase which represents the “key”.

If someone manages to access the secured message during transmission to the recipient, it is virtually impossible for a “hacker” to decrypt the message without knowing the “key”.

Did you know that email isn’t secure?

Did you know that email isn’t secure? And that’s a problem.  Most people assume that email is secure.  Well it’s not.
To secure your email you should consider encrypting your email communications. If you don’t mind sending post cards that everyone can see, you don’t need to, but if you want to send private messages that are for the intended recipient then you should be using encrypted email.

You would never consider sending personal or confidential information through regular mail without some protection, even if its just an envelope.  Why then would you send personal or confidential information in an unprotected email? Sending private information  in an unencrypted email is the equivalent of writing it on a postcard for all to see.

Encrypting your email will keep all but the most dedicated hackers from intercepting and reading your private communications.

And that’s what this site is all about helping you secure your email by using services that exist on the internet today to help you keep your private parts, private.

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