Reliably encrypting emails using GnuPG

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The methods I have described here using GnuPG, Enigmail, and Thunderbird are not limited to Linux. Mac OS X allows you to encrypt your emails with this combination and the additional GPG tools for Mac OS X [4]. Windows provides the Gpg4win project [5] as a GnuPG implementation.

Thunderbird also has alternatives. For example, the Mac OS X mail client has a native GnuPG implementation with its GPG Suite plugin [6], and Windows also has workable GnuPG mail programs. The biggest hurdle isn't the technology but the willingness to embrace the email encryption concept.

My experience shows that a bit of evangelical work helps in spreading the GnuPG gospel. It has some concrete benefits: The better the PGP's Web of Trust works, the harder it is for third parties to spy on your emails.


  1. "Password Strength" comic:
  2. Enigmail for Thunderbird:
  3. Key signing at FOSDEM:
  4. GPG tools for Mac OS X:
  5. Gpg4win:
  6. GPG tools:

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