GNU Privacy Guard

Ever since PGP removed their open source client, GnuPG has been the standard in open source PKI. If you want to encrypt your emails and/or files on your computer, you’ll need this installed, and a basic understanding of how it works. One of my next posts will be talking about an amazing privacy tool that requires gpg, so give it a try, you’ll never know when it will come in handy.

Late last night for example, I had to sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) with a lawyer, with no access to a scanner or printer. I was able to do this easily with gpg.

Anyway, if you want to give it a try, follow these steps (It will work best if you have a friend to try it with!):

  • Download a GnuPG (gpg) and give a try. (scroll down to binaries and find your operating system)
  • Generate an initial keypair; a private key and a public key. If anyone else ever gets access to your private key, the whole exercise is useless, so protect it by all means necessary! At the same time, provide a copy of your public key to anyone you wish to communicate with. You should look for the ASCII encoding option when extracting your public key, so the filename ends with .asc.
  • Add your friend’s public key to your public keyring
  • Create a sample text file or email, and encrypt it using gpg
If you get stuck with the steps above, which I’ve overly simplified, you get a lot more detail with the HOW-TOs and guides. Once you’ve got the basics down, set yourself up with email encryption.
Feel free to send an encrypted email to kris@privasectech.com (link is to my public key) to test it out. Make sure you also attach your public key in an ASCII encoded format (filename.asc)!