How to Use PGP Public Keys With Yahoo

by Chad Anderson

There have been a number of plug-ins, scripts and other utilities to combine Yahoo! Web-based email with the powerful OpenPGP public key encryption standard. Unfortunately, a lot of those attempts have either been discontinued or have been shown to be insecure. While using a dedicated email client with an OpenPGP plug-in is still the best way to ensure your privacy, you can encrypt messages manually using PGP's Current Window or Clipboard features, which allow you to specify recipients' public keys before encryption.

Current Window

1

Launch a simple plain-text editor such as Notepad or a word processing program. Compose your email message in this program. You could do this in your Web browser, but that might not be secure, depending on the plug-ins you have running.

2

Click the PGP icon in your system's tray and select "Current Window." Choose "Encrypt" or "Encrypt and Sign," depending on what you wish to do with the text.

3

Drag and drop the email's recipient into the recipient field from your list of public keys. Click "OK" to encrypt the body of your email message.

4

Launch your Web browser and log in to your Yahoo! Web-based email. Start to compose an email message as you normally would, but copy and paste the encrypted block of text into the body of the message.

Clipboard

1

Launch a simple plain-text editor such as Notepad or a word processing program. Compose your email message in this program. You could do this in your Web browser, but that might not be secure, depending on the plug-ins you have running.

2

Highlight all of the text and right-click to copy it to your clipboard. Click the PGP icon in your system's tray and select "Clipboard." Choose "Encrypt" or "Encrypt and Sign," depending on what you wish to do with the text.

3

Drag and drop the email's recipient into the recipient field from your list of public keys. Click "OK" to encrypt the body of your email message.

4

Launch your Web browser and log in to your Yahoo! Web-based email. Begin composing an email as you normally would, but paste the encrypted block of text into the body of the message.

Tip

  • check If you want to encrypt your messages over Yahoo! Messenger, you can do so using the clipboard method. However, PGP Desktop integrates with the Trillian chat client to provide transparent encryption for a better, more fluid user experience.

About the Author

Chad Anderson began writing professionally in 2009. He primarily contributes articles on technology and outdoor topics for various websites. His areas of interest include Linux and open-source software along with cycling and other outdoor sports. Anderson holds a Bachelor of Arts in English literature from the University of Nevada in Reno.

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