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Contact Us Technical Support: PGP


What is PGP?

Pretty Good™ Privacy (PGP), from Phil's Pretty Good Software, is a high security cryptographic software application for MSDOS, Unix, VAX/VMS, and other computers.  PGP allows people to exchange files or messages with privacy, authentication, and convenience.  Privacy means that only those intended to receive a message can read it. Authentication means that messages that appear to be from a particular person can only have originated from that person.  Convenience means that privacy and authentication are provided without the hassles of managing keys associated with conventional cryptographic software.  No secure channels are needed to exchange keys between users, which makes PGP much easier to use.  This is because PGP is based on a powerful new technology called public key cryptography.

Using PGP

In order to use PGP, you will first need to create a key set.

1. SSH into your account.

2. Run the command "pgpk -g". This will prompt you for the following information:

*Choose the type of your public key.
1.  DSS/Diffie-Hellman - New algorithm for 5.0 (default)
  2.  RSA
  Choose 1 or 2:  -"Select RSA"-

*Pick your public/private keypair key size.
1.   768 bits- Commercial grade, probably not currently breakable
  2.  1024 bits- High commercial grade, secure for many years
  3.  2048 bits- "Military" grade, secure for the foreseeable future
  Choose 1, 2 or 3, or enter desired number of bits
  (768 - 2048):  -"A key of 1024 bits is more than enough, select that".

*Enter a user ID for your public key.
he desired form for this user ID is your FULL name, followed by your
  E-mail address enclosed in <angle brackets>, if you have an E-mail address. 
  For example:
  Joe Smith <>
  If you violate this standard, you will lose much of the benefits of
  PGP 5.0's keyserver and email integration.
  Enter a user ID for your public key:  -"Fill in the appropriate info"-

*Enter the validity period of your key in days from 0 - 999.
0 is forever (and the default):  -"Enter 0 if you want this key to last forever"-

*Choose a pass phrase to protect your private key(s).
Your pass phrase can be any sentence or phrase and may have many
  words, spaces, punctuation, or any other printable characters.
  Enter pass phrase:  -"Fill in a good passphrase that you are sure to remember"-

3. Run the command "pgpk -xa userid -o public.key" (userid refers to the user ID on step 2) This will produce a file called "public.key".

*You can also download pgp from and create a keyset on your home computer.

Once this key set is created, you can start encrypting files on from SSH.

1. SSH into your account.

Run the command "pgp -r userid file -o file.pgp" ("file" refers to the file you wish to encrypt). This will produce an file"file.pgp" with the encrypted content of "file".


From your Control Panel ( select PGP.

1. Copy the contents of the file "public.key" created in step 3 of the previous section. If you created the key with PGP on your home computer copy the contents to the appropriate section.

Click on "Add". (You may not need to run this step if you created the key from SSH.

Click on "To test sending a PGPMail".

You need to set up your form to use the ''

The form action line should be <FORM ACTION = "/cgi-sys/" METHOD = "POST">

The '' will do all the programming work for you. You alter the behavior of '' by using hidden fields in your form.

There are three form fields that you must have in your form for PGPMail to work correctly, recipient, username, and keyname.

Field: recipient
Description: This form field allows you to specify to whom you wish for your
form results to be mailed. Most likely you will want to configure this option
as a hidden form field with a value equal to that of your e-mail address.

<input type=hidden name="recipient" value="">

Field: username
Description: This form field allows you to specify your username in the system. This allows PGPMail to look for the configuration files to encrypt the mail to be sent to you.

<input type=hidden name="username" value="your_username">

Field: keyname
Description: This form field allows you to specify the name of your public key.
This will be the public key that PGPMail uses to encrypt your mail. You must
possess the private key in order to decrypt the email that is sent.

<input type=hidden name="keyname" value="public_keyname">


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