Maintaining privacy is very important on the Internet. There are many tools that we use in our day to day, many the services where we are registered and the platforms where we put personal data. There can be many causes for hackers to steal all that content. They could even use it for profit, by selling it to third parties or being part of cyberattacks. However, we can also have many protocols and options to avoid problems and maintain security. In this article, we are going to talk about what PGP encryption is and how it helps protect privacy.
Why we must always maintain privacy
It is a reality that our personal data has great value on the web. They can be used to include us in spam campaigns, send targeted advertising thanks to the fact that they have information about us and could even sell it to third parties. This means that we must prevent them from stealing data through a wide variety of methods.
Problems with privacy can come, for example, when using email. Information that reaches third parties could be leaked. That is why e-mail providers rely on different protocols to keep that information encrypted, without anything being able to escape when sending or receiving an email.
Over time, different standards have appeared and other existing ones have been improved in order to preserve the data. In this way we can navigate through Wi-Fi networks without a possible intruder who can read what we are visiting or what information we send. The same when sending an e-mail, registering on a platform or setting passwords to log in.
Without these protocols, without these security measures , our data would not be safe. They could easily collect personal data, confidential information, and use it to carry out multiple attacks and compromise us. This is where some protocols such as PGP gain importance, which will help to always keep our personal information and everything we send over the network, safe from possible intruders who may use it for profit or to carry out other attacks.
PGP encryption, an enhancement for privacy
PGP stands for Pretty Good Privacy . If we translate it into Spanish we would say pretty good privacy. Its name is not accidental, and it is precisely the objective that it has is to preserve the information and prevent it from falling into the hands of third parties. It is used to encrypt the content and maintain privacy at all times.
There are symmetric and asymmetric keys. There are different types of algorithms that allow us to protect our devices and accounts. In the case of PGP, it uses both options, since it has both symmetric and asymmetric cryptography. In this way it enhances safety even more, since it has the best of each one.
It is not a novelty, far from it. This protocol appeared in the early 1990s, specifically in 1991. Over time it has been improving, but it has remained a fundamental piece for example for email .
Something that stands out about PGP is that it compresses information . Consider a plain text that travels from one computer to another. That text is encrypted and compressed. This will also allow it to be faster when sending it to another device, in addition to taking up less space. After this compression, it will generate a unique key with which it maintains the encryption until it reaches the recipient and thus prevents possible intermediaries from accessing the information.
Asymmetric cryptography means that once the data is encrypted, that session key will be encrypted with the public key of the recipient that will receive the information. Subsequently, the receiver will carry out the reverse process to be able to read the information.
PGP encryption in email
We can say that e-mail is a widely used means of communication. It is for both home users and companies and organizations to function on a day-to-day basis. A very interesting way to send and receive information quickly and from any device or place. It even allows us to send attachments, beyond just text.
In many cases we will share confidential information and data. We are going to send an email to contact a good one, we are going to register in any service where we will show our data or we are simply going to send ourselves documents to always have them available in that account.
All this makes it essential to maintain privacy and not compromise our data at any time. That’s where PGP email encryption comes in.
Let’s say we send an e-mail to a recipient. We write a text that is encrypted when sent with a public key and travels encrypted, without anyone being able to read it. Once it reaches the recipient, it can open that e-mail and decrypt it with the private key and can read that plain text that we write.
What the PGP protocol does is protect and encrypt the information we send by e-mail until it reaches the recipient. Thus, you maintain privacy at all times and prevent personal data that compromises us from leaking.
But this protocol is also used to generate digital signatures. In this way we can know if a message has been changed compared to its original and it also allows us to verify if the sender is legitimate and corresponds to who it should.
In short, the PGP protocol helps improve privacy when sending information. We have seen that it is very useful in the case of email, something so used in our day to day life. One more way to avoid problems that may affect our personal data and end up in the hands of third parties. Our advice is to always use services and platforms that are reliable, that have everything necessary to maintain maximum protection and thus avoid unnecessary risks when sending or receiving any type of information.