Contact Ken

I use secure communications whenever I can. I don’t have any particularly nefarious intent in doing so, but I don’t use postcards for the mail either, I use envelopes. Consider securing your email–it’s nobody’s business but yours.

One of the best ways to secure your email is to use an encryption program that’s been around since the early nineties called Pretty Good Privacy, or PGP for short. I hear that the name was taken as an homage to a mythical product offered on the radio show A Prairie Home Companion, a Minnesota Public Radio offering. Far from being just “Pretty Good,” it is essentially unbreakable when correctly implemented. There are many references to the operation of the cipher process available on the web. If it has any drawback, it is that the process is not terribly simple to implement for people who haven’t done it at least once before. Like most things, it’s easier if you know how. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pretty_Good_Privacy

Enter Pretty Easy Privacy.

Pretty Easy Privacy, or pEp for short is a relatively new entry into the field of “Cryptography for the Masses” that takes almost all the worry out of doing crypto right as regards email. The actual encryption/decryption process continues to use the PGP process (variously known as GPG, GnuPG and OpenPGP) but the implementation is seamless and behind the scenes. Once you install pEp in your email system, it proceeds to set up encrypted email without your intervention. You should ready about it yourself, or send me a note. I’m no expert, but I’ve played with PGP since version 2.0a which was a long time ago. Maybe I can help a little if you’re clueless, but concerned. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pretty_Easy_privacy

pEp attempts to set up a secure communications channel with every email I send to anyone, by including the public half of a pair of encryption “keys” as an attachment to the message. If the other party (you) have the apparatus engaged on your end, your reply message will send me your public key and more importantly, will encrypt your message to me. From that point on, every interchange we have will no longer be in plaintext, but will be encrypted into ciphertext. You won’t notice any detriment, and the rest of the world won’t be able to see what we are talking about..

Send a note to PGP at KenTenTen dot com and I’ll respond with a note and my public key in an attachment.