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Step 6: Extras: Symmetric encryption and hotkey commands

WinPT also supports an option called symmetric encryption, which does not use keys, but simply uses a passphrase to encrypt and decrypt messages. As long as the other party knows the passphrase, they can perform the decryption without a problem. Symmetric encryption is useful for one-shot encryption jobs -- for instance, if you're employing a disposable password that will never be used again (what's known in crypto circles as a "one-time pad.")

You can invoke WinPT through keyboard hotkeys, too. Instead of using the tray icon commands, you would set up the program to do an encrypt by pressing Alt+Shift in conjunction with a letter key. To configure this, right-click on the tray icon, select Preferences | WinPT, uncheck "Disable hotkeys," and configure the "Hotkey management" section with the keystrokes you want to use. (Other programs that perform hotkey trapping may interfere with this, so experiment with it.)

Simple e-mail encryption

 Home: Introduction
 Step 1: Outlook's S/MIME
 Step 2: Public keypairs
 Step 3: GnuPG and WinPT: Setup
 Step 4: Encrypting e-mail in WinPT
 Step 5: Verifying signed e-mail in WinPT
 Step 6: Extras: Symmetric encryption and hotkey commands

More information from

  • Whitepaper: Contributing to regulatory compliance with e-mail encryption
  • Opinion: How much encryption is enough?

    Serdar Yegulalp is editor of the Windows Power Users Newsletter. Check it out for the latest advice and musings on the world of Windows network administrators -- and please share your thoughts as well! Copyright 2005 TechTarget

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