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Making your public key public

There are a couple of ways to make your public key available. We'll describe two methods...using a public key server, or saving the key to a text file so that someone else can import it.

First, as stated above, PGP ships with two public servers...one at PGP.COM, the other at MIT. When you are connected to the Internet, open PGPKeys, select your key pair, and click Server -> Send to, and choose the server you want to send your public key to.

The other method is to save your public key to a file. This file can be sent to your friends, or pasted into your signature file on your email. To save your public key to a file:

Open PGPKeys, and select your key pair.

Click Keys -> Export, and a file dialog will open.

Choose a filename.

To save your public key into a document that already exists, such as a signature file for your email:

Select your key pair.

Click Edit -> Copy (or hit ctrl-c).

Move to the document where you want the key saved, and choose
Edit -> Paste from the menubar for the document (or hit ctrl-v).

Encrypting Files

WARNING: The next example shows you how to encrypt and decrypt your files. Choose a file to try the example on but do NOT try it on a system file or other important file!!

Want to encrypt a file on your machine? Great, let's try it. Open up any folder, and choose any file. Right-click on the file, and go to PGP in the popup menu. Choose 'Encrypt', and choose your key pair from the dialog window. Now, click on the pair, and drag it into the lower window. PGP will encrypt the file and you'll see another icon pop up...an armor plate with a lock on it. Very appropriate, if you think about it.

Now to decrypt the file, make sure that you've moved or deleted the original file (make sure that you aren't using a system or other important file for this example!!) and double-click on the encrypted file. Enter your passphrase in the lower dialog window, and BANG!, your file is decrypted.

This is a great way to protect your files. And it's free!

To encrypt a file for the group, just follow the same steps as above, but choose the group name instead of a single key.

More PGP for newbies-->>


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