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How to Encrypt Messages with PGP

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Technological advancement has opened new avenues for hackers. Today, people are very insecure about sending private messages as they are unsure of security. Are you wondering about the best method to send a private message? There are numerous ways, but the most popular encryption method in this digital era is PGP technology.

What is encryption? Simply it means turning a readable message into an unreadable form for other people other than the intended recipient. The first step to securing your messages is installing the GPG software. Have you installed this software but are yet to know how it operates? This article is crafted to enlighten you on how to encrypt the message with GPG.

What is PGP?

Pretty Good Privacy, commonly known as PGP, refers to a computer data encryption software that allows Private online communication among online users. It encrypts and decrypts emails, texts, and files, thus increasing online communication security. If you send a message using PGP, it will be converted into an unreadable format before transiting over the internet to the recipient. How does the recipient read the encrypted message? The recipient has a key that will decrypt the message to a readable format. Another benefit of using PGP is that it can authenticate the sender and ascertain noninterference of the message over the internet using digital signatures.

What Does PGP Use To Encrypt Messages?

Pretty Good Privacy uses a combination of data compression hashing and public-key. For data to be transited online, PGP uses symmetric and asymmetric keys for encryption purposes.

Why Is PGP So Popular Today?

Two primary factors make PGP popular.

  • The PGP encryption system was made available for free. Therefore, it attracted a lot of online clients who aimed at boosting their security over the internet. 
  • PGP uses symmetric encryption and public-key encryption that allows users unknown to each other to send encrypted emails to one another.

Pretty Good Privacy Encryption Software

There are numerous software applications that you can download based on the purpose of your PGP encryption.

  • Outlook with gpg4o: it is one of Windows users’ best solutions as it easily integrates with outlook 2010 and 2016.
  • Apple Mail With GPG Tools is a software that offers encryption for Mac system users.
  • Enigmail software is designed to integrate with a particular client email such as Thunderbird.
  • ProtonMail was among the fastest and secure email provider. As opposed to others, ProtonMail operates through a web portal.
  • FairEmail is a PGP software encryption for Android phones.

How to Use PGP to Maintain Your Privacy

In pursuit of the uses of PGP, let’s understand how it works. The process can be divided into three stages. They include:

  • PGP works by generating a random session key. The key is used to encrypt and decrypt the message content. It is a one type key thus cannot be used to encrypt or decrypt other messages. Besides, it is too big for one to guess and only the recipient who knows the key and can read the message.
  • The recipient’s public key is used to encrypt the session key. The public key is unique but can be shared among users. An excellent example of a public key is your email, as it does not change.
  • After the recipient receiver’s the encrypted text, they decrypt the session key, and in turn, it decrypts the message.

PGP ensures user privacy by utilizing two types of encryption. They include symmetric key and public-key. The users have a public key known to all users and a private key known to them only. The encrypted message is sent to the second party using a public-key, and upon receiving it, the message is decrypted using a private key.

While coding an entire text can be timewasting, Pretty Good Privacy employs a quicker coding algorithm to code the shorter key. The primary-key is used to code the whole text. On the receiver end, the recipient uses the private key to encode the short key, which in turn is used to encode the text.

How Many Public Key Versions Does PGP Come With?

PGP has two public-key types

  • Rivest-Shamir-Adleman, commonly known as (RSA) is a type of public key, and PGP usually pays a license fee. This version employs the IDEA algorithm generating a shorter key for the whole text, while RSA encrypts the short key.
  • Diffie-Hellman type employs the CAST algorithm to produce a short key that encrypts the message as this version encrypts it.

While dealing with an automated signature, Pretty Good Privacy utilizes an algorithm that produces a mathematical summary called hash from other signature information and the user’s name. The hash code is then coded using the private mailer key. Then the recipient uses the mailer public key to encode it. If it matches the one sent as a digital signature, the tone is assured of its security.

Encryption and Decryption Process

The sender encrypts the raw file using the public key. Then the encrypted file is emailed to the recipient. The recipient uses a private key to decrypt the encrypted file to a raw file.

How PGP Technique Is Used For Dark Market

Just like the way PGP is used to protect legit transactions, vendors of the dark market can use it to shield themselves against cybersecurity issues. While purchasing through the dark market, after registering and selecting the item to be purchased, you will be prompted to enter personal details. Before proceeding, make sure of the following:

  • First, ensure you have the GPG keychain on the desktop are open. On top of the message, the window selects the vendor’s PGP key. If it is not displayed, visit the vendor’s site to obtain it.
  • Second, select from BEGINNING PUBLIC KEY BLOCK to the end, then to copy the address, select CMD+C. After which, the GPG key chain icon will bounce, and you will be asked, would you like to import the key? Answer yes. Your data will be stored such that if you buy next time from the same vendor, you all skip this stage.
  • Third, paste your postal address into a blank document on TextEdit. Double click on the trackpad and under services select open PGP encrypt. If you are dealing with multiple vendors, you all have several keys stored in the GPG keychain. Ensure you choose the correct one, then click encrypt. A jumbled message will then appear on a new TextEdit window.
  • Forth, copy and paste the jumbled message to establish a dark market and then submit. The vendor will receive the message, and since they possess the private key, they can read it and respond accordingly. If you know how with PGP, ordering from the dark market takes about 20 seconds.

Conclusion

Having encryption software is a requirement, especially among business people. Today the most enhanced protective software is PGP encryption. It ensures that your private information remains private and is only accessible to the intended recipient. I hope by reading this article, you have gained a better understanding of PGP encryption, how it works, application in various avenues such as the dark market, and its significance.

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