PGP - What is it?

Discussion in 'privacy technology' started by sfi, Mar 12, 2009.

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  1. sfi

    sfi Registered Member

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    There has been more and more talk on the PGP encryption system, but I do not fully understand what the purpose is. Currently I know that it uses 2 different keys and it can be used for e-mails. Can anyone explain it in depth to me? Thanks
     
  2. Warlockz

    Warlockz Registered Member

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    PGP Desktop Home

    Easy-to-use encryption protects valuable information

    Overview

    PGP® Desktop Home is an easy-to-use desktop encryption application that secures individuals' most valuable and confidential information. PGP Desktop Home uses the same trusted, mature PGP® encryption technology that has been proven effective by millions of users, security experts, and organizations worldwide to:

    * Automatically encrypt email with the installed desktop email application without pressing any special buttons
    * Protect files in automatically expanding virtual drives or easily shared archives
    * Secure AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) sessions between PGP® Desktop users

    Protect Email Privacy

    Automatically detecting POP and IMAP email accounts, PGP Desktop Home encrypts emails without installing special plug-ins or requiring extra mouse clicks. You can use the default configuration to encrypt emails or customize encryption rules, including rules to encrypt based on recipient, subject header, and message content. All emails can be digitally signed, validating the integrity and source of messages for recipients. Background notification windows indicate whenever a message is encrypted, decrypted, or digitally signed.
    Protect Files

    Desktop and laptop computers with gigabytes of storage often contain a complete history of banking receipts, tax returns, family information, and other private data. System theft and malware are just some of the ways personal information can be exposed and used by identity thieves. PGP Desktop Home provides users with these options to encrypt files for everyday use, or encrypt and compress for sharing or backup:

    * PGP® Virtual Disk-Used just like a removable disk drive, PGP Virtual Disk stores files and folders in a single file, automatically encrypting and decrypting data. PGP Virtual Disk expands automatically as needed so files can be added without additional steps or concerns over the initial volume size configured. When not in use, PGP Virtual Disk can be closed to secure data even when system power is on.
    * PGP® Zip-For storing backups or sharing files, PGP Zip stores files and folders in a single, compressed file. If files need to be shared with others that do not have PGP Desktop, users can create a PGP® Self-Decrypting Archive (SDA) that automatically executes and decrypts files after successful authentication.

    Keep Instant Messages Confidential

    Instant messages travel across the Internet and through service providers. PGP Desktop Home allows AIM chats to remain private between PGP Desktop users. Encryption is performed automatically in the background with no change to the users' chat experience or application performance.

    http://www.pgp.com/products/desktop_home/index.html

    ________________________________________________
     
  3. SteveTX

    SteveTX Registered Member

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    Argh.

    PGP keys work like this: You want to send me something and I want to be the only one who can read it so I give you my public key. My public key is like an open combination lock ready to be closed/locked.

    Although you don't know the combination to open it, you can use it to lock up anything. You lock up a trunk with my combination lock (public key) and send it to me. You can't open it and neither can anyone else.

    Only I know the combination (my private key), and only I can unlock it.

    This way, it is safe to hand out your public key (unlocked combo lock) to everyone, and anyone can use it to send you something, but only you have the correct combination (private key) to unlock the contents.
     
  4. sfi

    sfi Registered Member

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    Wow. That simplifies it down. Thanks!:D
     
  5. SteveTX

    SteveTX Registered Member

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    This analogy was discovered by explaining asymmetric encryption to my father.

    All this stuff really isn't that impossible to understand, but technical people have a very hard time explaining complex ideas and we get wrapped up in our own academic terminology. Honestly, turning something complex into something simple is very difficult.
     
  6. n33m3rz

    n33m3rz Registered Member

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    You explain it the same way I do (open combo locks). Great minds think alike =).
     
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