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PGP Key Management Process Simplified

High Level Personal PGP Key Management
Created: 14 Jul 2014
InsentraCameronM's picture
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Because of its non-centralised nature, PGP key management can be challenging. This is especially true when you are managing your own PGP keys.

Follow the steps below to get up and running quickly with PGP encryption.

Note: The steps below apply to all PGP/GPG clients.

Personal PGP Key Management

  1. Install a PGP client such as Symantec Encryption Desktop
  2. Create/generate a PGP private key
    1. Ensure that you use a strong pasword
    2. Set an expiry date
    3. Set an appropriate key strength
    4. Create a revocation certificate
  3. Create a PGP public key
    1. Export your public key using the following format for the filename: Firstname Lastname (0xFFFFFFFF) pub.asc
      1. Replace (0xFFFFFFFF) with you PGP public key's fingerprint/key id
  4. Distribute your PGP public key
    1. Email your PGP public key to your friends and co-workers
    2. Upload your PGP public key to a public key server
  5. Import PGP public keys from your friends and co-workers
    1. Ensure that you confirm the PGP public key fingerprint/key id
    2. Sign the imported public key with you private key
    3. Set the level of trust on the imported public key

Good luck!