How to Instal PGP and Keep Your Hair

With thanks and acknowledgement to Dr Robert Hudson


If you've previously installed or attempted to instal any other PGP software, ensure that is is uninstalled or all files related to it are deleted, before commencing; otherwise conflicts with this new installation may occur.

The following site will enable you to download Version 6.02 of the software; it is free and will work on Windows.

(If you have a MAC then you will need to look at:

for the appropriate version and the installation instructions below may not be exactly the same but should help.)

Select your nearest download site.

Save it to disk - OK

Save to Desktop

The file will then download, in about 30 minutes. When finished, come off the Internet. You will then have a new icon on your desktop - PGP Freeware. Click on it to start the Instal procedure.

Accept the various options until you reach List of Components to Instal. You need only the actual program files (first item) so un-check the rest and click Next.

To the question "Do you have existing keys you wish to use? answer No.

Click Finish

Un-check "Yes I want to view the Readme file" leaving checked "Yes I want to run PGP Keys."

Then messages will appear regarding the generation of your own key pair. Enter the details requested.

Your requested name & eaddress are only for key identification. It is not essential to enter your your real name or eaddress.

Key pair size 2048 click Next

Key pair never expires click Next

Enter your passphrase twice. Do not forget this! and remember it is case-sensitive so FREDBLOGGS is not the same as FredBloggs.

Move your mouse as requested until 100% is shown.

Wait for your key to be generated and click Next when complete.

No need to send your Public Key to Server. Click Next and Finish.

You will probably find other keys now shown on your key list. Highlight these and delete all other than your own.

Then highlight your own key, click Edit and then Copy - which will copy it (just your public key) onto your clipboard. Your clipboard is never visible, but is where data is held after you issue a Copy command.

End PGP program by clicking X in the top R/H corner. No need to back up keys at this point.

Using PGP

Later, you may want to adapt PGP to run automatically with your email software - but first, keep it simple. Just compose messages in any word processor (eg Notepad) and then use PGP to encrypt them, then copy & paste.When pasting your pubic key or messages to your email program is it vital that the whole of the PGP message is pasted intact and without any kind of change. Even the deletion of one character in the first or last line will render it unreadable by the recipient. It is therefore best if PGP messages and keys are sent without any other plain text or comments within the email message.

PGP encrypts text using the recipient's public key, and on receipt he decrypts it using his private key. So you need to send your public key to those to whom you wish to write, and receive his public key from anyone from whom you hope to hear.

Click on the PGP "padlock" icon now on your toolbar and choose "launch PGP keys." From the list that appears, highlight your own, then click on "Edit" and "Copy". This will load your public key into your clipboard.

Now go to your usual email software and do what you normally do to enter the addressee name & address, and in the Message section use edit & paste. This will paste your public key (from your clipboard) as the message and you email it to someone in the normal way. Once you have sent someone your public key, they will be able to send you PGP messages. They will need to send you their public key before you can send them PGP messages.

The same icon is used for other basic PGP functions, as below.

Once PGP and this icon is installed, you can delete the installation program that was on your desktop by dragging the PGPFreeware icon to the recycle bin.

To Decrypt a Message

You can tell when you've received a PGP message or someone else's public key because they are so headed. Keys need to be handled as shown below. When you receive a PGP message, "select all" and "copy" the whole encrypted message (including the header and footer) to your clipboard.

Click on the PGP padlock icon and select "Decrypt and verify clipboard." A box will then appear asking what file you want to decrypt. In the bottom-right there is a box for the clipboard; click on it. You will then be asked for your passphrase and if entered correctly the decrypted message will appear ready for copying to wherever you wish. If you do not get it, it's probably because you didn't correctly copy the encrypted data to your clipboard - so try again!

To Receive and Add a Key

When you receive someone else's public key, as above "select all" (or otherwise highlight the entire body of text in the public key) and "copy" to your clipboard. Click on the PGP padlock icon and select "Add key from clipbopard." Click Import and the key will be added to your list or keyring.

To Encrypt and Send a Message

You can first compose and spell-check your message using any word processor. When finished, simply "select all" and "copy" to your clipboard in total, then click on the PGP padlock icon and select "Encrypt clipboard." At that point you will be shown a list of available keys and you should double-click on that of the intended recipient and so transfer it to the lower, "recipient" box. Once there you click OK and the encrypted message is now in your clipboard.

Then open up your email software in the normal way, place the cursor at "Message" and paste the encrypted message as the content of the email.

Remember: whatever is in your clipboard when you encrypt it is what you will send. If you forget to select it all before encrypting, you'll encrypt only part of the message!

If you don't save your messages as plain text in a separate file and you think you may at some future time want to read what you have sent out, you should also encrypt the message to your own key. That will allow you to decrypt it later. You must however do this at the same time as you encrypt it to the recipient's key; so ensure that you have both his and yours listed int he "recipients" box, at the same time before you click OK.