Want really secure Gmail? Try GPG encryption

    Date14 Jan 2010
    CategoryPrivacy
    6238
    Posted ByBenjamin D. Thomas
    Perhaps Google's announcement that Chinese cyber attackers went after human rights activists' Gmail accounts has made you skittish about just how private your own messages are on the Google e-mail service. Well, if you want to take a significant step in keeping prying eyes away from your electronic correspondence, one good encryption technology that predates Google altogether is worth looking at. It's called public key encryption, and I'm sharing some instructions on how to get it working if you want try it.

    Unfortunately, better security typically goes hand in hand with increased inconvenience. But some human rights activists who used Gmail right now likely wish they'd put up with a little hardship to help keep hackers at bay. I'm not going so far as to recommend you use e-mail encryption, but I think this is a good time to take a close look at it.

    Specifically, I'll show here how to use a collection of free or open-source software packages: GPG, or GNU Privacy Guard, Mozilla Messaging's Thunderbird e-mail software, and its Enigmail plug-in.

    But first, some background about how it works.

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