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PGP: Encryption of e-mails - that's how (easy) it works

Tips & Tricks July 6th, 2018, 7:59 am
Many users shy away from encrypting mail and files with PGP. It is not that complicated (anymore).
Even secret services such as the NSA or CIA first get to grips with the easily accessible data before they bother to crack better protected conversations. Encryption works, as the IT security guru Bruce Schneier already explained. For example, the Snowden Papers would have shown that the floppy hats preferred to get hold of Yahoo e-mails than Gmail users, even though Google's webmail has far more users. The reason is simple: Gmail already used a crypto method by default, while Yahoo did not.
Despite this knowledge, many users still do without encryption methods in daily use. This is particularly striking when sending emails. Here most of the contemporaries send their emails through world history in a completely openly legible manner. Even sensitive personal and business messages are passed on like postcards.
However, many shy away from consistent mail encryption. The arguments are: Encrypting with PGP is too complicated, using ProtonMail is too cumbersome, as it is only web-based, or services such as PEP, which is also Swiss, but for a fee, is too expensive in the free world of the Internet.
At least the first argument that free encryption with PGP is too complicated can be partially invalidated. The packages that are available for the use of PGP are now a lot easier to use - both under Windows and under macOS.

Set up PGP in Outlook

In order to send encrypted emails with Outlook (and with other mail programs such as Thunderbird), the free software package Gpg4win must first be downloaded. This is an open source GnuPG distribution for Windows, which uses the two encryption methods OpenPGP and S / Mime. It contains the encryption software GnuPG (Gnu is not Unix Privacy Guard) as well as the key management program Kleopatra and the Outlook plug-in GpgOL (from Outlook 2003).
During installation, you must ensure that the Outlook plug-in is also set up
After the installation has been completed, you first have to take care of your own key. The utility program Cleopatra is used for this. Under the menu item file a new key pair can be generated for your own email address. Two things are important here. The passphrase that you come up with for the secret key should be remembered well or kept in a safe place. The same applies to the file in which the secret, non-public key is located. Only with this can messages that are sent to you in encrypted form later deciphered.
The key management in Cleopatra
In Kleopatra, you can also find out possible e-mail partners who have published their public key there. The problem with this: Very few contemporaries implemented PGP and published their public key in this way.
Read on the next page: The first encrypted mail