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When you have successfully completed Step 3 of this tutorial, you'll have created two keys to lock and unlock the secrets of your encoded information. A key is a block or string of alphanumeric text letters and numbers and other characters such as! The first of the two keys you'll create is your Public Key, which you'll share with anyone you wish the tutorial also will show you how you can put your Public Key on an international server so that even strangers could send you encrypted data if they wanted.

Your Public Key is used to encrypt--put into secret code--a message so that its meaning is concealed to everyone except you. Then there is your Private Key, which you'll jealously guard by not sharing with anyone. The Private Key is used to decrypt--decode--the data messages and so forth that have been encrypted using your Public Key. The designation of one of the two keys Key1, say as Public and the other Key2 as Private is purely arbitrary since there is no functional difference between the two. This is because when either key is used to encrypt something, the other will act as the corresponding decrypting key to convert the encrypted data back into its original form.


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This capability is at the heart of the "Signing" process mentioned in Steps 8 through 10 below. Public and Private Key encryption solves one of two major problems with older methods of encryption, namely that you had to somehow share the key with anyone you wanted to be able to read decrypt your secret message. The very act of sharing the key meant that some untrustworthy so-and-so could intercept it--and frequently did. Which meant your code was practically useless. The second major problem with older methods of encryption was the relative ease with which the code could be broken.

Codes have to be incredibly complex if they're to foil the attempts of astute humans to crack them. PGP, and other similar encryption systems, use a key that is really--well--astronomically large, meaning that the number of binary bits 1s and 0s used to create it has an astronomically large number of possible combinations and the actual decimal base 10 value they represent is--well--huge. Unlike earlier encryption methods, the security of PGP encryption lies entirely with the key. Earlier encryption methods relied on "security through obscurity" ie: keeping secret the method used to do the encryption.

The methods used to do PGP encryption are known and documented. It is PGP's selection of the complex keys used to do an encryption that makes it next to impossible to crack. The size of the key can be increased whenever necessary to stay one step ahead of advances in technology. Time alone will tell if PGP can stand the test of time, but for now it's one of the best encryption technologies you'll find.

The CryptoRights Foundation is another good website for information regarding privacy issues. Once you're more experienced with the program, you can join the PGP Users Mailing List so you can keep in touch with issues related to privacy. Once the download is complete, you'll have the zipped version of the PGP program on your hard drive. Now you have to unzip it. For this, your best bet is to use the shareware WinZip which you'll need to have installed on your computer.

You may already have this program from when you had to install other software. If you don't have WinZip installed on your computer, or if you're in doubt, you can go get it download it from the web. Follow the directions to install the WinZip software on your computer.

What Is PGP?

With a program such as WinZip installed on your computer, you are now ready to unzip and install PGP. Here are the steps to follow:. Next you'll be prompted to run the PGP Setup program, which will begin immediately. You'll be presented right away with the PGP Freeware 6. Follow the Wizard's step-by-step directions, clicking on the Next button as you go along.

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PGP: Pretty Good Privacy

The first three screens contain info about PGP licensing, etc. Read them before clicking on the Next button. The 4th screen asks you to enter your name and the name of the company you work for. Next you're asked to confirm the folder where you want the PGP Wizard to install the program. Unless you have other ideas, accept the default for this item. Keep your wits about you on the next screen, which asks you which PGP components you want to install. So Deselect this item by removing the check mark next to it before clicking on the Next button. On each of the ensuing screens, read what the Wizard has to say.

When asked, accept the defaults and let the Wizard do all the setup for you.

How to use Pretty Good Privacy (PGP) Encryption. - Privacy Philippines

Once the PGP software is installed, you will have to reboot your system. PGP will prompt you to go ahead and Restart. After your system has been restarted, you are ready to create your Public and Private Keys. This you can do at any time. Remember as you complete the steps that follow that your Public Key is so-called because you will willingly share it with others so that they can use it to send you secret information.


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  4. Your Private Key is so-called because it alone will decode any information encoded with your Public Key. As long as you alone have knowledge of your Private Key, your privacy is assured. The PGPkeys window opens up, listing various people's Public Keys, among which in a short while will be yours and any others your correspondents that you choose to add to the list. Read the introductory dialog, then click on Next.

    Do this now. You can use any name you like and it's a good idea to use a genuine e-mail address so you can take advantage of the PGP feature which will look up the correct key for you when you are writing to a particular correspondent. Click Next when you're done entering your name and e-mail address. Again accept the default bits, which will give you a key so large that it would be well nigh impossible to figure out even by the most powerful computer in the world and click Next.

    Accept the default Key pair never expires and click Next again. Think about this before you proceed. Choose a passphrase that has at least eight 8 characters that's a minimum of 8 characters as a requirement , with a mix of upper and lowercase letters or other characters.

    What is PGP encryption and how does it work?

    The greater the mix of characters and the longer the passphrase, the better. As Herb Kanner explains, "The size of the passphrase, and the inclusion of mixed case and non-alphabetics is to increase the difficulty of a brute force attack on your passphrase. Arnold G. Enter your passphrase once you've decided what it will be, hit Tab, and re-enter it for confirmation.

    Then click Next again. If you have entered an inadequate passphrase, the PGP Wizard will warn you and ask you to go back and re-enter another passphrase. You may be prompted to move your mouse around or hit random keys on the keyboard to help the Wizard create a more secure key. Click Next when the Wizard has finished generating your key.

    What is PGP?

    You'll now be asked if you want to send your new Public Key to a server where others around the globe can find it and use it when they want to encrypt data they wish to send you. This is optional, so click in the box only if you wish to do this, then click on Next once more. That's it! Now all you have to do is share your Public Key with anyone with whom you wish to exchange secure information. The next sections tell you how to do this, and how to use your key and those of your correspondents to encrypt and decrypt the data that you exchange.