Is there a way to add a little more privacy to your email correspondence without resorting to cloak and dagger tricks, and a CIA-like list of covert technology?
PGP Meet GPGMail
Way back in the last century, years before the public internet became the information superhighway, a very smart man created PGP data encryption. PGP. Pretty good privacy.
Somewhat akin to PGP is GNU Privacy Guard, or GPG, yet another way to encrypt data. For Mac users intent on delaying or impeding the NSA’s progress at reading your email and documents, there’s the free GPG Suite and GPG Mail.
What you get with GPG Mail is an open source (translate: free) plugin for Apple Mail which you can use to encrypt, decrypt, sign and verify email messages. The latest version works with OS X Mavericks’ Mail app, but you’ll find additional options in the GPG Suite of tools.
The whole shebang can be used to encrypt and decrypt email messages, setup a GPG keychain for added security, use GPG services to encrypt, decrypt, sign and verify, as well as import keys for text, files, and folders. Mac geeks may prefer MacGPG but you’ll need to have no fear of the Terminal.app.
GPGMail shows up as a Mail plugin, ready to encrypt and decrypt email messages.
Of course, your intended recipient or sender will need GPGMail for their Mac’s Mail app, too, but setup is straightforward.
You’ll need to setup and manage GPG keys with your email address, which is a straightforward, step-by-step process– for setup and key management.
After that, just type out your email and select the secure encryption button from Mail’s menu to sign the message.
GPGMail also displays which incoming email messages are of the GPG variety, and will decrypt as needed. Click to display the message in Mail. The plugin also displays an alert if someone sends an encrypted message to you by mistake.
Don’t you feel safer already?
You probably shouldn’t. If anyone has access to your Mac they have access to your documents, files, and, of course, email messages. It may be unlikely the NSA or CIA or your neighbor is spying on your email, but an extra layer of security might make you sleep better at night.
Chances are good the spooks and snoops can even watch you while you’re asleep anyway.