For users of Outlook, Outlook Express, and Eudora this is very simple. First compose your e-mail and after it is done click on PGP on your e-mail program’s toolbar and choose Encrypt Now. This will bring up the PGPkeys program and it will list the public keys you have on your system. Select the public key of the person you are sending the e-mail to and PGP will encrypt your message. You will now see your message as a bunch of unintelligible text and numbers; this is what an encrypted PGP message looks like:
—–BEGIN PGP MESSAGE—–
Version: PGPfreeware 6.5.2 for non-commercial use <http://www.pgp.com>
—–END PGP MESSAGE—–
Can you read that? Now you can safely send your encrypted e-mail without fear that someone other than the recipient will be able to read it.
How about decrypting and reading e-mail sent via PGP? When you open the e-mail you will see some unintelligible text, just like the example in the previous paragraph. If you are using Outlook, Outlook Express, or Eudora, decrypting is very easy. Click on PGP on your tool bar, then choose Decrypt/Verify. This will bring up a box that shows you which Public key this message was encrypted by, and will ask you to enter your password to your private key to decrypt the e-mail. Enter your password and then click OK and that unintelligible junk you just received is now a readable e-mail!
This is what that encrypted message above says: >This is a test of the PGP program.>
Use with unsupported e-mail programs
What if you don’t use one of the major e-mail programs that have plug-in support for PGP? There is an easy workaround. You must make sure that you have PGPtray loaded to do this; go to Start/Run/PGP/PGPtray. This will load the program and display a small Lock icon in your System tray. In order to use PGP to encrypt and decrypt e-mail, you must use both PGPtray and the clipboard. Actually it is very simple to do once you understand how it works. To encrypt a message that you want to send to someone, you must do the following: Compose the message you want and when you are finished, copy the text to the clipboard. Then click on the PGPtray icon and select Clipboard and choose Encrypt, which will bring up your list of Public keys that you can use to encrypt the message. Select one and the program will encrypt the text. To send this message, simply copy the now encrypted message and paste it into your e-mail message text window and send it to the recipient in the normal manner.
To decrypt an encrypted e-mail you do the opposite. Copy the encrypted text to the clipboard, and then click on the PGPtray icon. Choose Clipboard and select Decrypt & Verify. PGP will ask you for the password needed to use your Private key to decrypt the e-mail then it will decrypt the e-mail and allow you to read it. You may save the unencrypted contents to a file as needed.