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Step-by-step guide: Simple email encryption

An easy, step-by-step way to set up email encryption using the GnuPG standard and public keys.

This tip originally appeared on, a sister site of

My favorite analogy for showing the inherent insecurity of email goes something like this: Imagine sending someone a postcard written in pencil, which could be intercepted, read or edited by anyone along the way without you ever knowing about it. Email that's transmitted and, for the most part, stored as plain text -- it's not secure in any way, shape or form.

Security has become the issue in IT, and while securing email traffic is only one of many such things you could do in the name of security, it's one that's often overlooked. If you're nervous about your mail's security and want to make sure that is read by its intended targets and absolutely no one else, you need to take steps to protect it with encryption.

Simple email encryption

 Home: Introduction
 Step 1: Outlook's S/MIME
 Step 2: Public keypairs
 Step 3: GnuPG and WinPT: Setup
 Step 4: Encrypting email in WinPT
 Step 5: Verifying signed email in WinPT
 Step 6: Extras: Symmetric encryption and hotkey commands

Serdar Yegulalp is editor of the Windows Power Users Newsletter. Check it out for the latest advice and musings on the world of Windows network administrators -- and please share your thoughts as well!

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