So, are you looking for a secure way to communicate with others when it comes to your sensitive information? If so, then you should install PGP. Hey, come on now, who wouldn’t want a safe way to send and receive messages that is also really easy to do? I can assure you that PGP is all of this and more.
PGP (aka Pretty Good Privacy) is often touted as the go-to application for those looking to keep their communications private.
Sure there are some other great solutions out there but ask yourself this one question: how many of them have been around since 1991 and updated countless times since then? Didn’t think so.
PGP has over 2 million users worldwide with nearly 80% of them being Windows users. It can be downloaded for free from a link on this page: http://pgp.mit.edu/ (see below) and is compatible with both PCs and Macs.
Here are some features of PGP that make it unique:
• Encryption –
All text in the message is encrypted using the recipient’s public key (if it’s installed). The only information unencrypted is your own text, which means your phone number, name, and email address.
• Digital signatures –
Every message is digitally signed so each recipient can verify that you wrote the text and it wasn’t tampered with when it was sent.
• Key management –
You will have to generate a new pair of keys (or key pairs) for each person you send messages to. This ensures that only those intended recipients can read your encrypted messages and emails.
• Flexible key length in PGP –
The length of keys is up to 512 bits for RSA and DSS. This gives you a wide range of choices depending on how many messages you plan to send daily or if it’s only for some special occasion like an important business contract or project proposal. You might also opt for a shorter key length for those who only need to send sensitive information like bank account passwords and PIN numbers.
• For outgoing messages –
The recipient’s public key is sent to you via an encrypted message (called the S/MIME email or PGP mail).
Your computer uses your private key to decrypt this encryption and decrypt the S/MIME message. The S/MIME message can then be forwarded on or saved into EML format for later use in a variety of software solutions that are compatible with PGP.
• For incoming messages –
You’ll receive your messages in plain text format so you can verify that it has not been tampered with when it reaches you.
• You can sign emails with your PGP public key and enter an optional text header, which specifies any relevant information you want to be included in the email’s subject line. If you need to send a reply, you can be sure that it will not be read by anyone except for the intended recipient.
Who started PGP?
PGP was started by Phil Zimmermann who is still leading its development today. He also founded Silent Circle which produces the Blackphone mobile devices which use PGP encryption and other security mechanisms.
Of course, there are many other free software solutions out there but at the end of the day, they are all about convenience – like your old pal “Facebook.com” which can be used to send messages and chat with friends but is not really known for its privacy (the company has been caught giving information to government agencies).
Having a private solution like PGP will give you peace of mind but is also easy enough that you’ll use it every day.
Maybe you have something confidential that you want to share. Don’t put it in an email or text message. The moment you do, it’s open for prying eyes. Instead, send it using PGP – the most secure and confidential way to communicate today on any device.
Read more: http://pgp.mit.edu/
You can learn how to install PGP on your machine with the links below!
This article has given a brief overview of PGP and what it is, why you should install it on your computer, and some of its features. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions that need answering or if you would like to share your opinion on PGP and the many other means of encrypting your messages.
Thank You for Reading!