Encrypting Emails

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Hello Again

Yet another tutorial on encryption, this time we will be encrypting emails, We will be encrypting our emails using Open-source tools pgp (Pretty Good Privacy) and Thunderbird. both of these tools are available for almost all platform, you can download them from there respective websites. So lets get started

Downloading and Installation:

Thunderbird:

Its installation is very straight forward, just download it from their website (http://www.mozilla.org/en-US/thunderbird/), and Install it. When it starts provide your user name and password and it will login.

Openpgp:

Its installation is a little tricky, First download the pgp engine from its website (http://gpg4win.org/) and install it. Once its installed, Open Thunderbird, Go to Tools -> add-ons and in search box type enigmail. Thunderbird will find the addon for you, Click the install button and after Installation, Restart Thunderbird.

Encrypting emails:

1. To Encrypt your email, you would need to generate a public key, To do this, Click OpenPGP menu and click Key Management.

2. In Key Management dialog-box, click the very last menu called Generate and click New Key Pair.

3. Enter your pass-phrase and comment and click the Generate button.

4. You will be prompt for confirmation, Click Generate Key Button, you key generation progress depends on activities your are doing, the more you system is active the quicker it will generate the Key.

5. During Key Generation it will prompt you for a Revocation Certificate, Click Generate Certificate and Save it to your disk.

6. It will again ask you for your pass-phrase in order to Generate you Revocation Certificate, Enter your pass-phrase and hit OK.

7. Now to view your Generated Key, click the checkbox Display All Keys by Default.

8. Now go ahead and Compose a New Email, Once you are done with composing your new email, its time to sign, simple go to OpenPGP menu and click the Sign Message button.

9. Now you can send your email to that particular person, but he will need to have your public key with him in case he wants to decrypt your email. YOU HAVE TO SEND IT FOR THE FIRST TIME, you can either tell him or attach it with this email, to do this, go to OpenPGP menu and click Attach my Public Key.

10. Once you are done with this, hit the Send button, Thunderbird will prompt you with few options regarding encrypting the Attachment, Go ahead and Select the First Option Just encrypt/Sign the Message Test, But not the Attachment.

Decrypting Received Email:

1. To decrypt an Encrypted message, First open it and you will notice that Thunderbird will tell you that its an unverified email.

2. To verify this email, you will have to import the attached public key, To do this, Right Click the Attachment and Click Import OpenPGP Key.

3. Once the Key is imported, Click the Decrypt button on the main tool.

4. And there you have it, Your decrypted message. Enjoy your secure world 🙂

I hope you like this tutorial as I put alot of effort in this one specially with zoho mail, as ti wasn’t working with Thunderbird and I had to waste alot of time on it finally trying it with gmail. If you have any questions and suggestions, Please leave them in comment section and I’ll be more then happy to Answer them.

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