Outlook is one of the favourite email clients among professionals and businesses. The additional features offered by Outlook are highly valuable and are rarely found in other email clients. We often store confidential documents and send sensitive emails, this should be done with utmost safety and security. Although all the major email services use email encryption (SSL/TLS) to ensure data safety. However, this type of encryption is designed to protect the email when it is being transferred through the Internet. But when your email is resting in your inbox, anyone can sneak into your email account to access sensitive information.
To ensure that your email is accessible only to the intended recipient you can encrypt the email using GPG (GNU Privacy Guard). This guard will allow you to use public and private keys to encrypt emails. So, this article intends to explain to you how to encrypt emails in Outlook using GPG. Keep reading!
Encrypt Emails in Outlook Email Client
First of all, you will have to download a software called Gpg4win to encrypt emails in Outlook. The good news here is that this software is completely free to download and install.
- Once downloaded, the software will automatically install the required plugin to encrypt and decrypt email within Outlook.
- After the installation procedure is complete, search for “Kleopatra” in the Start menu to open it. Here, you can import public keys or create your keyring.
- Once you have opened Kleopatra, move to File, and then click on New Certificate.
- On the page that appears select Create a personal OpenPGP key pair and then click Next. On the page which follows, enter your name and email address you want to create the keyring to tie the key pair to this email address.
- After reviewing your certificate parameters, click on Create Key.
- Then create a strong password for your key pair then hit OK.
- Re-enter the same password when prompted to.
- Once done, your key pair will be created, containing both your public and private keys. You can also keep a backup of your key pair by clicking on the “Make a Backup Of Your Key Pair” button.
Public Key: The public key can only encrypt the email and requires a private key to decrypt the data. It is usually shared when someone wants to send you an encrypted email.
Private Key: The private key can be used to decrypt as well as encrypted email. This key is usually shared between the sender and receiver of an encrypted email. Also, this type of key is designed to only decrypt emails that are encrypted with your public key. Here is how to use a public and a private key.
- For the public key, select your certificate in the main window, then click on the “Export Certificate.”
- Choose the destination and hit “Save.”
- After this, you can distribute the public. As mentioned above, you need to use the target recipient’s public key to send an encrypted email. To do so, you will have to get the public key imported from your recipient and then download it.
- You can do this by navigating to the main window of Kleopatra and click on the “Import Certificate.” Then, browse and select the certificate.
- After this, you will have the public key imported. Now, you need to trust this imported key. So, open the “Imported Certificates” tab in the main window and right-click on the certificate you just imported. You will find a “Change Owner Trust” option, select that.
- Here, click “I believe checks are very accurate” followed by “OK.”
- Again, go to the certificate and select “Certify Certificate.”
- Then tick mark both the checkboxes and click “Next.”
- Another box will open up, click on the “Certify only for myself” radio button, and then hit “Certify.”
- Here, you will have to enter the password that you used while creating the key pair. Type in the password and hit “OK.”
- Click “Finish” on the confirmation window that appears.
- Your key should now be imported. Now, you can use it to encrypt the email. To encrypt the email, compose a new email on Outlook, and then navigate to the “GpgOL” tab to click on the “Encrypt” button.
- The moment you hit on the ” Encrypt” button, Gpg4win will encrypt the email using the public key of the target email address.
- The intended recipient can decrypt this email by using his/her private key.
- If you receive an email encrypted with your public key, Outlook will ask you for the password that you entered while creating the key pair.
- Enter the password, and then hit OK. After this, you should be able to
see the decrypted message in your Outlook client.
We hope you have understood the whole encryption and decryption game. So, you should now be able to keep your sensitive emails on Outlook safe from intruders.