Internet Email

How To Make An Encrypted Email Message


A lot of people think that encryption is a nerve-wrecking task, something that is so hard that it is not worth the trouble. Now the importance of encryption depends upon the content you are sending across through email. If you are simply sending across a grocery list then it may not be worth the trouble to send an encrypted email. However if you are sending your bank statements to a financial advisor, a medical record to your family doctor or other confidential documents then encryption is required. It is necessary to send an encrypted email because of the extent of surveillance prevailing in today’s times. By choosing to use encrypted email you will not be risking exposing private and sensitive information about yourself to a malicious person.

 Making an encrypted email message takes some practice if you have never done it before. The following are the five steps that should be followed in this regard:

Step 1

Step 1: The first step that you need to take in order to create an encrypted email message would be to install an email encryption program of your choice. It does not matter whether you install the program in a GUI (Graphical User Interface) or in the command line interface, the process would not include beating round the bush.

Step 2

Step 2: The next thing that you need to do is to create a public key so that you can encrypt your email message and send encrypted emails back and forth with the recipients. In order for two people to send and receive encrypted mails, they will both have to get a public key created. Use a long passphrase for this and once it is done you can export your own public key so that you can share it with people whom you want to send encrypted mails to.

Step 3

Step 3: Now ask the other person or the recipient to create a public key and to send it across to you through email. Once you receive the public key, you should start importing it into a GNU Privacy Guard (GPG). Always remember the recipient who wants to read the encrypted email should import the sender’s public key first.

Step 4

Step 4: Next use a word processor or a notepad to write down your email. Once that is done you will have to encrypt the email. After successful encryption of the email, a file with an extension ‘asc’ will be created. Now, you will be prompted to enter the user ID so that you can proceed to the process of sending your encrypted email that you have just created.

Step 5

Step 5: The last and final step pertaining to the task of creating an encrypted email would be to send it. You can send the encrypted email.asc file to anyone and everyone without the slightest speck of anxiety on your mind since it would be virtually impossible to decrypt the email without the correct private key.


Most of the email encryption programs feature public-key cryptography with the help of which one can make public and private keys. The former is used for encrypting the email message while the latter is used for decrypting it. It is not possible to derive the latter from the former.


By Bob Meadow, published at 04/04/2012
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