In this post-Snowden era, information security has become a hot topic among even those who are not in our industry. Sharing your data in a truly secure way has proven difficult. When considering the frequency of data breaches, it is alarming to think that our personal files could be accessed without our permission. When considering the pace at which our data is being released via breaches, will we ever live in a world where we have privacy anymore? Will we ever feel secure about giving our insurance company health records or our banks our financial information? Do we have to redefine the word privacy, because it seems as if we are shifting into a new meaning of the word? How do we combat this shift? What are our weapons? Are they easily accessible? The world has been talking a lot about encryption lately and its pros and cons. Let’s talk about one of these “weapons”. It’s called PGP.
Pretty Good Privacy or PGP is a program used to send e-mails securely over the Internet. PGP can do a variety of things like encrypt files, code e-mail, and authenticate documents. Each PGP user has two digital keys, a public key (one that can be posted publically) and a private key (one that is never shared and is only found on your device). PGP requires that you enter a secret phrase before encrypting your email. The message is encrypted by entering the recipient’s public key in the body of the e-mail. Only the recipient can decode the message with their private key.