A Guide to PGP Encryption By Data Recovery Labs

Did you know that if you transmit information online using a form or through a secure e-mail you were probably using PGP. Pretty Good Privacy (PGP) is a type of software program that many online businesses use to encrypt and de-encrypt various types of personal data being transferred. The PGP software is installed on the receiving computers at the business which allows the business only to view the information. If the e-mail or form is intercepted by someone other than the business, they will not have the PGP key needed to de-encrypt the secure data.

PGP software was created in 1991 by Phillip Zimmerman. The software was developed by Zimmerman as a way to send and store data using the Internet. In simple terms here is how PGP encryption works. A visitor to a business site goes to a form that will be used to send information. Many times this would be a form going to customer service to solve a problem, and customers need to provide account or personal information. Since the information being transmitted is many times personal, financial information (i.e. date of birth, social security number, account numbers, etc…) it is critical that this data is secure. The form is completed and encrypted before it is sent creating a digital signature. When the business receives the information, they have software which will unlock the digital signature and enable the form to be read.

A variety of businesses utilize PGP software during normal operation. Some online uses include merchant sites, live chat services, customer service sites, online financial service transactions and many other uses. One of the ways to tell if a site is using security software, such as PGP, is by viewing the URL of the site. If the address starts with https, then it is a secured connection. In addition, if a site is secured, you will generally see a lock in either the URL bar or on the bottom of the page. When conducting business, you must be certain that these two items exist before submit personal, financial information. If you have any doubts about whether or not it is secured, ask first.

There are many resources available on Pretty Good Privacy software, and businesses and individuals can acquire the needed software, either as freeware or by purchase. Data recovery service is available for encrypted hard drive recovery.

PGP Tutorial – a beginner’s guide to using PGP
Pretty Good Privacy Information – information on PGP
History of PGP – resourceful PDF on the history of PGP.
PGP software - resource on available PGP software
Data Recovery - resource on system encryption recovery
Raid Recovery - resource on encrypted raid recovery
Cryptography – information on how information is secured
Phillip Zimmerman – excerpt from original PGP Users Guide

PGP Software has been around for nearly twenty years and has undergone several changes and upgrades through the years. It continues to play an important role in the security of our data, today and in the future.