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Getting a PGP Key setup.
Many people send sensitive information over public e-mail systems. To this day, I cannot figure out why they do this without using PGP. It’s free and easy to use. You can sign, encrypt and decrypt data with a few single mouse clicks.
Your public key will be sent out to the various key servers around the world and anytime someone wants to send you encrypted information, they can download your public key, encrypt the data and send it along to you. At this point, you use your private key to decrypt the information. I will not go into how to secure your key pair nor will I go into detail on how the keyservers work. I will say this, don’t go generating tons of keys because they will not be removed from the keyservers. This means that all you can you is revoke the key. It will still be out there and you will have to keep the revoked private key around should you want to decrypt something sent to you encrypted with the revoked public key. It also makes it hard for people to determine which public key to use in order to send you something. This will cause you to have to export your public key and e-mail it to them first.
To step you through the setup of a PGP solution for Win32. In addition, one example will used to show you how to encrypt a simple text file. Please note that there are many ways to setup a PGP solution. This is just one.
1) Extract both of these zip files to separate directories. In our example, we will use c:\winpt-extract and Gnupg-extract.
2) Create a directory where you want all of your components to reside. In our example, we’ll use C:\WinPT. After creating this directory, create a subdirectory called “locale”.
3) Copy the contents of the winpt-extract directory into C:\WinPT
4) Go into the Gnupg-extract folder and edit the gnupg-w32.reg file.
Go through this file and change all dirs to reflect C:\WinPT. The file should look like this when you are finished:
“gpgProgram”=”C:\\ WinPT \\gpg.exe”
“MODir”=”C:\\ WinPT \\Locale”
5) Save the file and right click it and select “MERGE”
6) Cut and paste all .mo files from GnuPg-extract to C:\WinPT\locale
7) Cut and paste all remaining files from GnuPG-extract to C:\WinPT
Run WinPT.exe (You can create a shortcut of your liking to point to this exe). If all went according to plan, you should see what looks like a key in your system tray.
9) Right click on the key and select key manager
10) From the pulldown menus, select Key>new>expert. Fill in all the fields it asks for. Do not change any default settings here. Once you generate your keypair, you need to publish them by right clicking on your keypair and select “send to keyserver”. You can use the default or choose from the list of keyservers presented to you.
That’s it! In about 24 hours your public key will be posted on key servers all over the world and people will be able to send you encrypted information using your published private key!
How it works, a simple test.