Mailvelope

The browser extension Mailvelope provides users with a simple and accessible means khổng lồ encrypt the nội dung of their emails. This guide features the essentials you need lớn get started with your own Mailvelope thiết lập.

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This guide is an overhaul of a previous piece, entitled "Encrypting gmail with Mailvelope: A beginner"s guide."


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Table of Contents

Adding contacts to lớn your keyringAdvanced features in Mailvelope

What is Mailvelope?

Mailvelope is a tool that works in Firefox or Chrome lớn facilitate end-to-over encrypted email. When you sover an end-to-kết thúc encrypted tin nhắn, that means that only you and your liên hệ can read your messages, and no one else — not your tin nhắn provider, your contact’s gmail provider, or any network snoopers.

Mailvelope makes sending and receiving end-to-end encrypted gmail on your computer simple: Sign in to your existing email service from your web browser, compose an encrypted message in Mailvelope’s integrated browser experience, and cliông chồng “Send.”

Like any other tool that encrypts your gmail nội dung, Mailvelope won’t protect the metadata of your messages from other parties. Some actors may have sầu the ability to see information like when you sent a message, who it was addressed to, the Internet Protocol (IP) address of the devices involved, và more.

If you must use email for private correspondence, however, Mailvelope is an appropriate choice for those who are just getting started with end-to-end encryption in email on their computer. Mailvelope won’t work on mobile browsers, similar to the majority of traditional email encryption tools.

Requirements:

An up-to-date web browser; either Chrome or Firefox

Getting started with Mailvelope

Once you install the Mailvelope browser extension, a Mailvelope ibé will appear at the top of your browser, to lớn the right of the address bar. Click on the inhỏ to lớn bring up your Mailvelope control center, where you’ll go through your initial cài đặt.

Before you can start sending encrypted emails lớn your contacts, you’ll need khổng lồ configure your Mailvelope with two files that together make a keypair. Your keypair opens up the doors of encrypted email, & consists of a public key your contacts can use to encrypt messages lớn you, and a private key you use to lớn decrypt messages addressed to you, so you can read them. While many of your friends might hold on lớn a copy of your public key, your private key is for your eyes only.

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If this is your first time using encrypted tin nhắn, select the option khổng lồ “Generate key.” We’ll walk through the full key generation process in the next section.

Note: If you’ve already used gmail encryption with another tool và want khổng lồ continue using the same keypair, select the “Import key” option instead of generating a keypair. You’ll then import your old public/private keypair as a tệp tin or text blochồng. After importing, consider securely deleting any unneeded copies of your keypair, & making a secure backup lớn an encrypted storage device.

Generating keys with Mailvelope

Generating a keypair in Mailvelope is simple. It’s only a required step if it’s your first time using encrypted gmail, or if you’ve sầu tried encrypted email before but want khổng lồ start fresh with a new keypair.

During your initial thiết lập, click the “Generate key” option to configure your new keypair. You can also generate a new keypair at any point by navigating to the “Key management” thực đơn in your Mailvelope control center and clicking “Generate key.”

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Name và email

To start, input đầu vào the “Name” and “Email” you plan lớn use as your primary liên hệ for tin nhắn encryption. Later, people you correspond with can use this liên hệ information khổng lồ look you up on public directories called key servers.

Advanced: Algorithm, key kích cỡ & key expiration date

Next, the default algorithm & key kích cỡ entries under “Advanced” are good as-is — RSA encryption at 4096 bits is the strongest option available.

Setting a key expiration date is not required, but does keep you accountable for stricter key maintenance. Chances are this will not affect most people, but it is technically possible for a sophisticated actor to lớn compromise a user’s key. If this is a concern for you, consider setting an expiry date 1-2 years in the future.

Password

Finally, it’s time to choose a password. The passphrase you designate in the “Password” field should be unique, long, và randomly generated. Why? The strength of the encryption protecting your private key is directly related to lớn the strength of the passphrase used khổng lồ secure it. If an adversary gets a copy of your private key, they may be able to lớn decrypt your messages. If you have a long and random passphrase, however, you can rest easier. A lengthy, chất lượng passphrase likely requires an impractically long time for a hacker khổng lồ guess.

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Uploading your key to Mailvelope’s key server

Be careful with this next part.

Before hitting the Generate button at the bottom of the window, you’ll notice a checkbox giving you the option to lớn upload your public key to lớn Mailvelope"s key hệ thống.

If you select this option, people can pull your key through Mailvelope and start sending you encrypted emails within moments of generation. This is a bit lượt thích putting up a public listing for your key, but you want to be sure this key and the associated email should be public, because the public listing is permanently available lớn anyone.

If you don’t choose this option, not khổng lồ worry. You can always push your key khổng lồ Mailvelope’s key VPS — or any other key hệ thống, for that matter — later.

If you bởi skết thúc upload your key to Mailvelope’s key VPS, you’ll be sent an gmail asking you to verify your key. Why? You have sầu khổng lồ interact with Mailvelope lớn prove that you indeed own the tin nhắn account tied to the key that you are trying to lớn send up khổng lồ its servers.

Adding contacts khổng lồ your keyring

Under the “Key Management” tab in your Mailvelope control center, you’ll find your keyring. Think of your keyring as your encrypted email liên hệ list. When you import a contact’s public key, it’ll show up in your keyring so that you can easily encrypt messages khổng lồ them in the future, and update their key information as needed.

When you first configure Mailvelope your keyring will look pretty empty.

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The image of two interlocking keys you see on the far left of your entry points khổng lồ your public/private keypair. Later on, your contact’s keys will appear with a single key icon next khổng lồ their public key information.

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When you click on your key’s entry in your keyring, you’ll see more details about it. Most notably, you’ll find your key’s PGP fingerprint, as well as its key ID.

A PGP. fingerprint is a 40-character identifier attributed to lớn a single public key, while a key ID is a shortened version of the fingerprint — in Mailvelope, featuring the final 16 characters of the full fingerprint. Each key has a chất lượng ID & fingerprint, và, in addition to lớn name và email, are used lớn tìm kiếm on public key directories called key servers.

Now that you’re set up with your own key on Mailvelope, you’ll want khổng lồ add the public keys of individuals you’d like to lớn communicate with over encrypted email. lưu ý that you can only skết thúc encrypted emails khổng lồ friends who have gone through the steps lớn set up their own keypair, so your mileage may vary.

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Adding contacts on key servers

If your correspondents have sầu already begun sending encrypted emails, chances are they’ve sầu uploaded their public key lớn a key hệ thống. Once you’ve skết thúc your public key to lớn a key VPS, anyone can search the key VPS for your key, import it lớn their keyring, & send you encrypted messages.


Chuyên mục: Mail