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Author Topic: Using PGP for First Time  (Read 3430 times)
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« on: May 08, 2005, 08:22:52 AM »

I have PGP 8.1, and have a question about using PGP to send emails for the first time.  I made a key pair.  

Does the person I want to send a PGP encrypted email have to have PGP?  I tried to send someone a PGP encrypted email, but it couldn't find their public key.  So does the other party need a PGP public key in order to send them a PGP encrypted email?

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Date Registered:March 23, 2005, 12:43:26 AM
Posts: 51

« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2005, 06:40:12 PM »

Both parties need PGP in order to send encrypted mail to the other. The exception to this are the self decrypting archives some PGP versions can make. For those, the recipient only needs the passphrase, and the encryption isn't nearly as strong.
To send conventional PGP encrypted messages, you will need their public key. The public key encrypts the message. The private key decrypts it. The key system is designed so that a persons private key cannot be made or discovered from the public key.
Some have their public keys listed on keyservers. Others hand them out on an as-needed basis. That's pretty much a matter of preference, as is the number of key pairs you use. Some use just one. Some have a separate one for each contact. Also a matter of preference or need.
As strange as this might sound, give yourself some practice sending encrypted messages to yourself. I used 2 webmail accounts for this. It'll help you get the "feel" for how it works. Just pick out some text file, encrypt it and send it to yourself via such an account. It doesn't take long to get used to it.
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