Posts Tagged ‘Email’

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*Lavabit has recently closed its service. Read more here


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PGP (Pretty good Privacy) is the most widely recognized public key encryption program in the world. It can be used to protect the privacy of email, data files, drives and instant messaging.

Traffic on the Internet is susceptible to snooping by third parties with a modicum of skill. Data packets can be captured and stored for years.

Even mail servers will often indefinitely store messages, which can be read now or at a future point, sometimes long after the author has changed his or her point of view.

Email, unlike a phone call or letter, is not legally protected as private communication, and can therefore be read by third parties, legal or otherwise, without permission or knowledge of the author. Many privacy watchdog groups advocate, if you aren’t using encryption, don’t include anything in an email you wouldn’t want to see published. Ideally this includes personal information as well, such as name, address, phone number, passwords, and so on.

PGP encryption provides privacy missing from online communication. It changes plain, readable text into a complex code of characters that is completely unreadable. The email or instant message travels to the destination or recipient in this cyphered form. The recipient uses PGP to decrypt the message back into readable form. Whether you are concerned about protecting privacy rights, a corporate whistleblower, or a citizen that simply wants to chat with friends without allowing people to “listen in,” PGP is the answer.

The simple but ingenious method behind public key encryption is based around the creation of a customized key pair. The key pair consists of a public key and a private key. The public key encrypts messages, while the private key decrypts them.

Using PGP, Mr. Wise would generate a key pair by entering a real name or nickname to be associated with the keys and a password. The two keys are interlocking algorithms that appear as small bits of text code. Mr. Wise can freely share the public key with anyone who wishes to send an encrypted message to him. For example, let’s say Mr. Wise gives his public key to Ms. Geek. He can copy and paste it into an email and send it to her “in the clear.”

Before using PGP please read this article.

Download PGP Freeware v.6.5.8 here (updated link)

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