Encrypt and Protect Email  Step by Step Guide ▷ 2020

Encrypt an email so that your communications are 100% secure it is a good idea when you want to keep your privacy protected to the maximum. To do this you must know the tools you can use to encrypt your messages.

You will see these data in this article that we prepare. We invite you to continue reading because you will find information about the PGP and GPG privacy protocols. We will talk about which one is better and how they differ.

But this is not all, we will also present you a complete guide that you must do to encrypt email communications from scratch. Pay attention to all the details.

Why should you start encrypting your email messages?

Why should you start encrypting your email messages?

If you start encrypting your emails you will be increasing the privacy and security of your data, since you will alter the information contained in the email by means of encryption protocols. In this way, an encryption password will be needed to disable the cryptographic method.

This key can be public; when the sender and recipient need and know a single key, or private for the case where only the sender of the email knows how to decrypt. If for some reason the message is not unlocked, it will contain incomprehensible writing that will be very difficult to understand.

PGP and GPG What are these communications privacy protocols?

The PGP communication encryption protocol is software used to encrypt messages and to be able to send it safely, guaranteeing the authenticity of these and avoiding their intersection by other people. Pretty Good Privacy was created by the company of Phil Zimmermann in 1991 and allows the encryption not only of emails, but also of the hard disk and any type of file.

In this way, it becomes one of the most used programs because it offers the possibility of a digital signature to guarantee the identity of the sender. Too GPG, or GNU Privacy Guard, is an encryption protocol. Which is a derivation of PGP, that originated thanks to the efforts of the organization Free Software Foundation, which created its own encryption version of the Pretty Good Privacy.

The GNU Privacy Guard is a program characterized by key management and it does so by means of modules for accessing public password directories. It is a tool that is easily adapted to other programs due to the large number of frontend libraries it offers. This tool was developed in 1999 by Werner Koch that showed, from the beginning, a graphical interface that allows users to encrypt files or emails in a very simple way.

PGP vs GPG Which one is better and how are the two protocols different?

The difference between PGP and GPG It is related to the type of distribution, the first being paid and the second free. PGP is the property of PGP Corporation, except for the online version of commands, uses Rivest, Shamir and Adleman cryptographic system (also called RSA) and the International Data Encryption Algorithm (IDEA).

Although it was released as free software, it later became a right-of-use program. The interface it has used since its inception is Windows, so that users are familiar with it what saves time in the encryption process.

Instead, GPG does not use IDEA encryption, instead it uses NIST Advanced Encryption Standard. This allows the program to be freely distributed. Except for the command line, the interface is also Windows. From this it follows that GPG it is more convenient if you don’t want to spend money and the level of encryption is not bulky. Instead, if you are willing to pay for the license PGP, it will be convenient for you to lean towards this project.

Learn step by step how to encrypt email communications from scratch

To encrypt your communications using a reliable protocol you will have to do this step by step in each of them:

With PGP

With PGP

Do the following to encrypt your communications with PGP:

  • To use the PGP protocol you will have to download Mailvelope.
  • This tool is a complement to the mail services Edge, Chrome and Firefox. Therefore, you will have to open the one you use regularly every time you want to quote a message.
  • Next, you will have to open the mail server in the browser. You will see next to the option Write the program icon. You will have to think about it to write a secure email.
  • When you use it for the first time you must give him some permits to access your email account.
  • You will see below a screen in which an interface with the recipient will appear, a field for the subject, the body of the message and the possibility of adding attachments.
  • In case the recipient does not have the key, the message will appear Key not found! All recipients need a PGP key to encrypt. However, you can still sign the message.
  • Open the extension and go to the option Key server.
  • Select the type of keyserver HKP and click on save.
  • Compose your message and when you are done, you will have to click on Send.

With GPG

With GPG

If you want to encrypt your emails with GPG you will have to download GPG:

  • Download it below from this post.

Download GnuPG Windows

  • Select language of your preference to configure the wizard.
  • make click on Next.
  • Active the box GnuPG and click on Next.
  • Choose the option Install.
  • Uncheck the box Show README file.
  • Press in Okay when you finish the download.

Once you have downloaded the program, you will have to follow the same steps as in PGP:

  • You must open with your browser email service.
  • Press on the icon GPG.
  • Get the keys public Y private.
  • Send to recipient the public password.
  • Compose the message and then send it encrypted.

With Enigmail

With Engmail

  • Download Mozilla Thunderbird to use it as the mail server. For this, you will have to click on Next and follow the steps of the installer.

Download Mozilla Thunderbird Windows

Download Mozilla Thunderbird MacOS

  • What you will have to do now is configure parameters Thunderbird to add your email account.
  • Login the name, email Y password of your email.
  • Then click on Next.

Next, write all these configuration parameters for a Google email account:

  • In the countryside Incoming Mail (IMAP) Server – Requires SSL, writes: gmail.com; Port: 993; Requires SSL: Yes.
  • Find the section Outgoing Mail (SMTP) Server – Requires TLS and enter the following: gmail.com; Port: 465 o 587; Requires SSL: Yes.
  • Login to Requires authentication: Yes and writes Use same settings as incoming mail server.
  • Then in the field Full Name or Display Name You will have to write your pseudonym with which you want others to see your messages.
  • In Account name or username you will need to enter the email address of the full Gmail account. Otherwise, if you manage another server, you must write it at this time.
  • Look for the option Email address and write the email address of Google or from your server.
  • Finally in the field Password you must write the password to your email.

What you will have to do now is download the Addon to encrypt your mail, to do this, do this step by step:

  • Go with your browser to the accessories store Thunderbird. To do this, you will have to enter https://www.thunderbird.net/es-ES and click on the button Accessories.
  • Type in the search bar Enigmail and then click on the Addon that will appear to you.
  • Download the plugin and accept the permissions that it will request.
  • Opens Thunderbird and log in with your email account.
  • Tap on Menu, represented by 3 horizontal lines. You will find it in the upper right part of the screen.
  • At this time, the Enigmail setup wizard to generate the encryption keys that you will use. Click on Start setup now and then in To accept.
  • Then choose the box I prefer a standard configuration (recommended for beginners).
  • Enter a strong password and tap Next.
  • After a while the mail server will ask you to generate a revocation certificate. For this, you will have to click on the button that bears that name.
  • Write a name for the revocation certificate and a destination on your computer. Then click save.
  • Tap on okay to return to the wizard.
  • Then click Next and then in Finalize.

List of the best tools to encrypt your email that you should know

We will show you below 2 of the best tools you can find to encrypt your email in a simple and efficient way.

Pay attention and choose the one that best suits your needs:



With this tool based on the GNU Privacy Guard protocol, you will be able to encrypt your messages on a Windows computer. For this you will have to download the application and use Outlook as a mail app. This will allow you to verify the signature and encryption of messages automatically or manually each time you want to compose a new email.

Once finish composing the email, you must choose in the dialog box if you want to confirm the certificates that correspond to your signature. This will allow you to keep updated and protected your entire system.

Download Gpg4win Windows


This is a very easy to use online platform, in which you will have to access with your browser to generate the decrypt key. You will have to choose your name, the email address, the type of algorithm you want to use, the bits of the key, the expiration time and a key longer than 5 digits. When you finish, you will have to click on Generate key and after a few minutes you can download the public and private key. Then you can use them to encrypt your messages in a secure way.

If you have any questions, leave them in the comments, we will answer you as soon as possible, and it will surely be of great help to more members of the community. Thank you! 😉

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