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secure email communication with pep

19/11/2018 - Posted in cryptography , internet , minimal security , privacy , security , Software Posted by:

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reading time: 2 minute

This week will be the most easy advice to follow so far. However, it might also be the most useless (so far). Email encryption is something that all of us should get better at. Until now the problem was that the tools are barely usable for non computer science graduates. Fear not! There is a new tool on the block and it aims to make email encryption as easy as possible. People just have to start using the tools now

Laddis and Gents I may introduce to you Pretty Easy Privacy (pep). It is a tool that makes email encryption as easy as possible. You might ask why you need that stuff at all. Without going into any details on how email works, you can imagine email being like a postcard. Most people assume it is similar to mail, as in the content is protected by an envelope. Unfortunately, the content is not protected at all by default. That is why you should encrypt your email. It will protect your messages from interwebs observers. Information who sends and email to whom is necessary, but email includes additional information. This is information pep tries to minimize to make email more anonymous.

pep hides all the painstaking encryption key management. As a pep user you can even sync your keys between devices so you can read encrypted email on all of them. After the initial setup from your point of view not much changes. The only downside so far is that pep is a quite young project and not all devices and systems are supported yet. However, the more people use it, the more popular it will become and more devices will be supported. So head over to the pep website and download pep:

After downloading pep and  setting it up you should tell your friends about it. Protect your email! Download pep!

Additional Information

The problem with email encryption has always been key management. Especially creating and distributing keys and in multi device settings, syncing them between gadgets. PGP or GPG have been semi effective even for technically inclined people. pep trades control over your keys for the ease of use. While this might be difficult to accept for people who want full control, for lay people this is the way to go. Until other email encryption technologies are established (Dark Mail/DIME), a usable encryption overlay for the email protocol is the best step forward.

If you want to go down the rabbit hole, this guide explains the technology and mechanisms behind PGP encryption. Whatever solution you choose to employ, just make sure you use mail encryption at all.

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