Saturday, September 6, 2008

PGP Encryption

In these days of communications that are just too easy for unintended people to intercept and divert, I feel it is essential to secure communications with encryption.  I am amazed daily how many people (including good friends that know better) inadvertently share with the public their private files and communications.

Fortunately Pretty Good Privacy (PGP) was originally created by Philip Zimmermann in 1991 as a public-key cryptography system.  You can keep private things private while assuring that you are in fact communicating with who you think you are communicating. These days you can either buy PGP management tools from PGP Corporation or obtain them open-source (for free) from GnuPG (GNU Privacy Guard is the GNU project's complete and free implementation of the OpenPGP standard).  Take a read of the GNU Privacy Handbook.

Implementations of PGP for Windows can be found on GnuPG. Mac GNU Privacy Guard (Mac GPG for short) is, after a fashion, the Mac OS X port of GnuPG. You can install it from Sourceforge here. There are some really useful instructions on how to configure GnuPG for Mac OS X here, including a GUI Key Management tool called GPG Keychain Access, GPGFileTool (used toEncrypt/Sign/Decrypt/Verify with a GUI) and GPGDropThing (Quickly use GnuPG on text via GUI).

You may find a link to my public key both at the header of this blog and also here.