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Protect your data online

How to secure data with free encryption software

encrypt, decrypt, gnu privacy guard, gnupg, gpa, gpg4win, windows xp, windows vista, linux, hard drive, external; usb device, mac os, solaris, firefox, gmail, outlook, netbook, notebookI have heaps of important files stored in my Samsung NC20. Now let me tell you a secret—I also use my emails to store text files containing all my email contacts and passwords, friends’ phone numbers, passwords and bank account details. Well, I am aware of fraudsters lurking in the web and surely don’t want to end up as a victim. But I can depend on the free software Gpg4win for encrypting my important data and emails. Check out how.

My netbook is always with me on the move and I can’t afford to leave important data in a format that is not secure. Gpg4win can encrypt and decrypt files and emails with the GNU Privacy Guard (GnuPG) software by using the OpenPGP standard to ensure their safety on the Internet. It supports both the accepted cryptographic standards OpenPGP and S/MIME and uses the public and private keys to encrypt and decrypt the files and emails.

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The software installer package is available for Microsoft Windows, Mac OS, Linux and Solaris. You can download this software for Windows from the official website for Gpg4win. The set up file for the complete version is 34.7 MB, but you can also use the lighter versions without the certificate manager Kleopatra and Gpg4win manuals. If you have multiple user accounts on your system, login with the administrator account to install this software.

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You can double click on the set up file to start the installation and select the language of installation as English. When prompted to choose the components to install, you can select the components you wish to add. Complete the process of installation by clicking ‘next’ each time.

You can launch the Gnu Privacy guard by opening Gpg4win from programs in the start menu.

Start > Programs > Gpg4win > GPA

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Open the GPA and you will be asked to generate a digital key. Click on ‘Generate key’ or ‘do it later’ to postpone key generation. To use Gpg4win on your netbook, you need a digital key to lock your data. There is a public key to distribute among your people and a private key, which is known only to you. For instance, your can encrypt the data from your computer using a public key and further decrypt the data using your private key.

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Gpg4win can generate a private key for you by using your name, Gmail id and a passphrase. Your passphrase will be your public key and the key generated by the software is your private key. Once the key is generated, Gpg4win will request you to store a back up of your keys in a safe place; you can save it in your hard drive or in any external USB drive.

Name > Email Id > Passphrase > Generate key > Back up key in your system

After the keys are generated, you can now send the encrypted data or emails to your friends and contacts by following these simple steps.

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Encrypt and decrypt data

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Select the file you want to encrypt, right click on the file and select ‘Encrypt’ from GpgEX options. You have to enter a key when you select the file for encryption. If you are encrypting for yourself, select your own key, but select contacts key from your key manager to send to another person whose key is imported from the keys list.

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Similarly, when you want to decrypt data, right click on the file and choose ‘Decrypt’. You will be asked to enter the passphrase or your public key. Enter the passphrase and decrypt the file.

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Encrypt e-mails

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Compose your email in a text editor and save it. Select the file and right click to open the GpgEX options. Select the ‘Sign and encrypt’ option and enter the public key of the contact you are sending mail or your key in the pop-up window. Select the ‘text output’ option for the file and click ‘Ok’. This will result in a file with a .asc extension. Open it with notepad, copy the text and send it. Decrypt the data with the help of Gpg4win when you need it. Gpg4win has an outlook express plug-in to sign or encrypt your email from your Outlook Express. It also has a Gmail plug-in for the Firefox browser to encrypt your mails within the Gmail interface.

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Encyption is not something we do every day, but some files and important mails have to be encrypted to assure security. While travelling, we are exposed to public WiFi spots and Gpg4win proves to be really worthy as it completely safeguards the data.

1 comments:

jaisonknight said...

This is a good informational post.. thanks buddy.. keep going..
Follow my blog--Always Feel free to visit my blog DeKnight

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