PGP, GnuPG, OpenPG – it goes by lot’s of names these days. The first time I read about it in the excellent Code Book by Simon Singh it was PGP.
If you’ve no idea what I’m talking about already it’s worth reading this overview by the author of PGP, Phillip Zimmerman as to why he created a tool for people to use encryption (after all that’s what computers were invented for, kind of).
There’s plenty of tools to use it with now, but what struck me as odd was Outlook 2010’s lack of support for it. There’s really only the OutlookPrivacyPlguin that works with it and even then it doesn’t support PGP/MIME which is a shame. Outlook natively works with S/MIME quite well.
So it’s over to Thunderbird and Enigmail. It’ll even put email headers in telling people where to get your public key (mine’s here by the way!)
They’ll be some more to come from me on this. PGP is still pretty handy for encrypting your own files. The tools to do it with X.509 Certificates as described recently by me aren’t as easy to use. Personally I find I want to be sure I can decrypt a file some time down the line and PGP has been doing the job for quite some time now. Of course – longevity is useful if someone breaks the encyption methods!