True Strange Library

The curious collection of a slightly mad scientist

How to send an encrypted private email

This is how to use insecure email providers like Google and Yahoo to send secure encrypted messages. If you’d like to upgrade your email security, here’s how. First, get the Mailvelope add-on for Firefox. (There is one for Chrome as well, but doesn’t Google, who is forced to share with the NSA make Chrome?)

It works this way: You have two keys, one public, one private. Your public key everyone can see and use. If they want to send you a secure message, they use your public key to encrypt the message. Only someone with your private key can then decode something encrypted with your public key. Details here. Give it a try:

Directions:

  1. Install the Firefox or Chrome plug-in.
  2. Click on the “mailvelope-options” icon in your browser after the add-on is installed.
  3. Click “Options” from the drop down menu.
  4. Generate a key pair by providing your email address and a password.
  5. Before secure communication can happen between two people, they must exchange their public keys with each other. My public key is below.
  6. To send me a secure email, you would click your Mailvelope options button, click “options” then click “import keys”.
  7. Copy and paste my public key below into the box provided, then click “Submit”.
  8. Mailvelope extends the user interface of webmail (e.g. Gmail, Yahoo® Mail etc.) with controls that allow for encryption and decryption of email, so open gmail or yahoo, and compose a new message to someone using Mailvelope.
  9. Send me a test if you like to xeno735@yahoo.com.
  10. Leave the subject line blank and click the icon inside the normal message area to get a pop up window. Clicking on the compose button will open a new popup with a separate editor. This ensures that the email creation and encryption process is completely isolated from the webmail provider.
  11. Type your message (and paste in your public key if you want me to be able to reply with a secure message) and click Encrypt, then pick the email address to which you will send your message (for example, xeno735@yahoo.com). If you don’t see my address in the list, go back to step 7. You need to import my public key for this to work.
  12. Click “Transfer” to move your encrypted message back into your email program (Gmail or yahoo).
  13. Click send to send your encrypted message.
  14. To decrypt the message should be easy. The help says, “Whenever Mailvelope detects an encrypted message in an email it marks it with an overlay” but the message I sent myself from Gmail did not show up this way exactly in Yahoo.  Instead, there was a blank bar to the right of the message in Yahoo and when I clicked that, I was prompted to enter my password. If you mouse over the blank bar, you will see a key. You may have to close the email and open it again, then click on the encrypted message text. After entering my password, the message was sort of hidden to the right in a poorly formatted box, but I was able to see it. In Gmail, it worked as advertised.

Here is my public key:

—–BEGIN PGP PUBLIC KEY BLOCK—–
Version: Mailvelope v0.12.0
Comment: https://www.mailvelope.com

xsFNBFTie0wBEACHNsSu8sJmKo8DkNjKC8T/MD73ldolr2Oa3LPQ9DuagHZd
9UvPHLYe25z5gDy4ujFuN3G7HgEnliRYMZ0IaTiMS6N+EunadZaGSjnGkFfE
MQXSnoNHsK50mhvgTkMreNIVnCcVy6GAzQR9si9OtTcGMun/AE2Ozh0UZrli
DyPyQ8NnnIO9cxWB+1jNu+NaA3w4UI2eN1sWLWob46N/kUZ6eSatxwql7fRw
Rpnu+lW1C0AegSOOFShvZQWVwvkArHWE8EpXJdlSTFws/WXYwnpX6msAQy0i
Ct1OB/TJxItqbzwJc+pogzTMpYzDJoHPF+bWZ3Txvg4xugu/CGWsb9n2rgj7
a6RrOqq3Ib5zCyZKB7m0al/pNe6OQqnozarlchpGJRV1cdAKazSPKwoyHHy9
RaNQWloRIhncXTKThcTPEzj7OrSHtSe0JqHvjRa2ckfHajtUmsVYxw66ihUp
Fsk7lSIxJ8cMIAlECvJKYf/Hxv1j4bdG2UGpWweJoFBdfgIbRBJwzjuos/xg
dNDstZ6MajjvTyB1alGzsbxqlnjxZ3L5hv/gU7YYIoMth3Y4HgmH76tUElmw
tj/DHG+4Aw8Dm4XU+nKt8LW/RO2c7cvYKSITgfiFrr/kdzqumrC0w807Xbu2
GapGxGIhHZBVdUsWVhh/6UxbfR5M8L/vJWw+JQARAQABzRhYZW5vIDx4ZW5v
NzM1QHlhaG9vLmNvbT7CwXIEEAEIACYFAlTie6oGCwkIBwMCCRByWjqcfMzC
VwQVCAIKAxYCAQIbAwIeAQAABlEP/jpMrFXGqL6LxauSfb+VnuphnOhXEs77
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OAVqmbmjF5C3uD77/6DjfjVYOIawWtq4oVLHGw8ao/+v7q/zQF1DsjFQzp56
fFu0QNPlCsStZb1EY2MTOJBf0vndQvx8OdSnHjEoPFJA6n9pL/NKHJ1qy1D6
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0g93b242kZsB61dY0zlFmAj+T+krmh71uwXLACWAvOKj6sbogLc50Cb8W3RC
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kmb8ZxCjuRg79rHwzHCkxcBwv6FMubezpPFndNIfJ4IHPbzSQL+VD3DcXGsU
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JVxJIzEFoIgPT6mjFYrfunXR2Nhtm/ICEu3nfb3cSjkb
=5DQH
—–END PGP PUBLIC KEY BLOCK—–

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This entry was posted on February 17, 2015 by in Uncategorized.
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