HOW TO: Distribute a PGP Public Key with PGP Desktop 8.x

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Article ID: 180116

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Symantec Products

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This article describes how to distribute your PGP 8.x public key so that others may send you encrypted data. This applies to PGP Desktop 8.x users who have Macintosh OS 10.2.x - 10.3.9.


In order for other PGP users to send you encrypted data, they must have a copy of your public key on their PGP keyring. There are several different methods for other users to obtain a copy of your public key. Included in this article are instructions for emailing a copy of your public key (as an attachment or as a text block), and uploading a copy of your public key to a public keyserver.

 

Note: You may also use PGP to digitally sign your emails and documents, and your public key verifies your PGP digital signature. Recipients of your PGP-signed data (who have a copy of your public key) are able to verify your signature, indicating that emails/documents are really from you.


 

Email a copy of your public key as an attachment 

  1. Start the PGP application (open Finder, browse to the Macintosh HD:Applications folder and double click PGP.app).
  2. On the menu bar, click the Window menu, then click PGPkeys.
  3. When the PGPkeys window appears on your screen, click the Keys menu, then click Export.
  4. Browse to the folder in which you want to save a copy of your public key. Since you only want to send your public key to others, leave the Include Private Key(s) box unchecked.
  5. Click the Save button. A copy of your public key will be saved (as an ASCII-armored file) in the location you specified.
  6. Attach the newly created .asc file to an email, and send it to those who need your public key.

 

Email a copy of your public key as a text block 

  1. Start the PGP application (open Finder, browse to the Macintosh HD:Applications folder and double click PGP.app).
  2. On the menu bar, click the Window menu, then click PGPkeys.
  3. When the PGPkeys window appears on your screen, highlight the key you will be emailing.
  4. Click the Edit menu, then click Copy.
  5. Open a new email message, ctrl-click anywhere in the body, and click Paste. A block of cipher text representing your PGP public key will be pasted into the body of your email.
  6. Send your email to those who need your public key.

 

Upload your public key to a public key server 

  1. Make sure your Internet connection is active.
  2. Start the PGP application (open Finder, browse to the Macintosh HD:Applications folder and double click PGP.app).
  3. On the menu bar, click the Window menu, then click PGPkeys.
  4. When the PGPkeys window appears on your screen, highlight the key you will be uploading.
  5. Click the Server menu, then click Send To.
  6. Click the public key server to upload your public key. Once your key has been successfully uploaded, other PGP users may download it from the server and add it to their keyring.