This article describes how to manage PGP Desktop 8.x keyrings in Macintosh OS X. Included in this article are instructions for creating a PGP keypair and importing PGP keys.
PGP encryption is based on public-key cryptography. In order to use PGP, you must create a PGP keypair, which consists of a public key and a private key. Your public key should be given to anyone who wishes to send you encrypted data. Your private key, however, should never be given to others, and its passphrase should be kept totally secret.
When someone wishes to send you encrypted data, they use your public key to encrypt the data (which changes the data into illegible ciphertext). Once the data is encrypted with your public key, it may only be decrypted by your private key, for which only you know the passphrase. Thus when you want to send someone encrypted data, you use their public key to encrypt the data, which may then only be decrypted by their private key.
When data is encrypted with a public key, it is common to say that the data was encrypted to the public key. For more information about public-key cryptography, please refer to the Intro to Crypto document provided with your PGP software (this document is located in the Documentation folder of the PGP disk image).
|Note: If you lose your private key or forget its passphrase, you will be unable to decrypt any data which was encrypted to the public portion of your keypair. Therefore it is very important to remember your passphrase and have a back-up copy of your keypair.|
Create a PGP keypair
|PGP is only as strong as your passphrase, choose a strong passphrase.
Your passphrase is case-sensitive.
If your passphrase is not 8 characters or longer, you may either continue by clicking the right arrow on the following screen, or click the left arrow to go back and lengthen your passphrase.
Import a PGP key