You want to learn how to use PGP encryption to boost your data privacy and messaging security? If so, you are in the right place as in this detailed guide, you learn how to use PGP encryption with great PGP encryption tools. You also learn more about this technology and how it works. You will also learn how to use PGP encryption to encrypt your private messages and send them using Ramnia, so let’s begin.
PGP encryption stands for Pretty Good Privacy and it was developed back in 1991 by Phil Zimmermann who today works at Silent Circle that crafts encrypted messaging apps and services and one of them is Silent App. In the most basic sense, PGP encryption is a powerful encryption system that can be used for sharing encrypted text messages and files as well as for encrypted emails.
Since its launch many years ago, PGP encryption has become the default data privacy and data security standard for email communication. One of the major reasons behind the growing popularity of this encryption technology lies in the fact that the system is freeware or available for free. Naturally, there are other factors involved including the fact that PGP encryption uses both public-key and or symmetric key encryption which basically allows internet users across the globe to share encrypted files and send encrypted messages.
Uses of PGP Encryption
PGP encryption is a widely used system for encrypting and decrypting messages sent using email clients. Since its launch, the system was freeware and it has spread quickly among internet users who appreciated adding extra security levels when communicating via email. In addition to being used for encrypting and decrypting emails, with PGP encryption, you can also encrypt files that you have stored on the cloud or your device. Using the same system, you can also verify the ID of the message sender.
- Email encryption and decryption
- Authentication of messages
- Encryption of files
Before you learn how to use PGP encryption, we should examine how this system works. The system provides greater online privacy as well as cryptographic authentication. It works through data compression combined with cryptography and hashing techniques and in this sense, it is quite similar to SSL (Secure Socket Layer) encryption technologies that are mainly used by websites. It is also similar to SFTP (Secure File Transfer Protocol) that secures data as it travels.
To learn how to use PGP encryption, you should familiarize yourself with the concepts of public and private keys. The PGP encryption system uses both public and private keys. A public key is a randomly-generated encryption key known publicly. A private key is created every time you send an encrypted message while using a private key which is also unique and randomly-generated, the intended recipient decrypts the message.
Since both private and public keys are used, PGP encryption uses asymmetric and symmetric key technology to protect your private data as it travels from your device to the recipient’s device. On the other hand, AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) uses only symmetric key encryption technology which means the same key is used for both encrypting and decryption of private data. The process of PGP encryption goes as following:
- PGP encryption system generates a unique, one-time-use, random session key
- The public key is encrypted and the message is protected as it travels
- The recipient of the message decrypts it using a private key
How to Use PGP Encryption with Ramnia?
For maximum security, you should consider learning how to use PGP encryption with Ramnia to send encrypted messages or notes. Before you turn to Ramnia, you need to find a PGP client, software, or tool out there as this will not be challenging as a simple Google search for PGP clients will list great options that work the same. One of these options is the Kleopatra Open Source (GNU GPL) PGP client that is available for Linux and Windows. To get started, you need to download the app and install it on your desktop device.
- Open the app and click on the New Key Pair button
- Enter your name and email in the designated box (optional)
- Enter a unique passphrase (make sure you remember it)
- The key pair is created (make sure you make a backup of your key pair)
- Click on the key pair created and export it to your device
- Open the key pair in Notepad and copy the entire key
- Open Kleopatra, open Tools, Clipboard, and choose Certificate Import
- Certify the Certificate (enter your passphrase)
- Open Notepad and write the message you want to encrypt
- Copy the message, open Kleopatra, go to Tools, Clipboard, and press Encrypt
- Add recipient (pick the key you just imported)
- Your encrypted message shows in your Clipboard
- Open your encrypted message in Notepad and send it to the recipient
To use Ramnia to send your self destruct PGP encrypted message, head to the Ramnia official website, or get the Ramnia app from the Google Play or App Store depending on which device you use. The app is very easy to use, you write your encrypted message or note in the designated box on the homepage, press on the Create Secret Link button, and copy the newly created, randomly-generated secret link. Send the link to the recipient and this is it.
How to Encrypt Emails and Files?
The next question is how to use PGP encryption for encrypting your emails and files? Just like in the previous example, using PGP encryption involves getting a software, app, or add-on to encrypt emails and files. When it comes to email encryption, you have a variety of great options that work for Apple Mail, Outlook, and Gmail such as Gpg4o that perfectly works with Outlook, GPGTools that works with Apple Mail, and FlowCrypt that works with Gmail.
When looking into how to use PGP encryption on your Android and iOS device, Android users can turn to FairEmail while ProtonMail can be downloaded on both Android and iOS devices as well as desktop devices. To encrypt files stored on your device and shared files, you can also PGPTool and Gpg4win that allows you to encrypt your emails as well.