HOW TO: Encrypt Files using PGP Zip for Macintosh

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Article ID: 180135

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This article describes how to encrypt files using Symantec Encryption Desktop (previously PGP Desktop) for Mac OS X.

HOW TO: Encrypt Files using PGP Zip for Mac OS X

Below are steps for encrypting files using PGP Zip.

PGP Zip is a feature that lets you put any combination of files and folders into an encrypted, compressed package for convenient transport or backup. You can encrypt a PGP Zip archive to a PGP key or to a passphrase for recipients who have Encryption Desktop.

Creating a PGP Zip:

  1. Open Encryption Desktop, pull down the File menu, select New, then slide over and select PGP Zip.
  2. The Untitled PGP Zip screen appears. Click on the Security tab and select the desired type of encryption:
    Encrypt with Recipient Keys:  Lets you encrypt the PGP Zip archive to the public keys of the recipient(s). This ensures that only those recipient(s) can open the archive. If you select public-key encryption, either drag and drop the public keys of the recipients onto the box or click the plus-sign icon and choose the public keys of the recipients.

    (OR) Encrypt with passphrase only:  lets you encrypt this PGP Zip archive to a passphrase you specify when saving the archive. Only those persons who know the passphrase will be able to open the archive. If you select passphrase encryption, enter and confirm the desired passphrase. Remember that you will need to communicate this passphrase to the persons who you want to open the PGP Zip archive.
     
  3. If desired, specify a private key from your keyring as a Signing Key for the PGP Zip archive being created. This specified Signing Key will be used to digitally sign the PGP Zip archive being created. The recipient(s) will be able to verify who the archive is from by verifying the digital signature using the corresponding public key. To view the properties of the selected signing key, click the key icon next to the user ID of the key. Close the Key Info when you are done.
     
  4. If you want a detached signature file created, put a check in the Save Detached Signature File checkbox. This option is only available if you specified a signing key.
     
  5. Specify what files and/or folders you want to be part of the PGP Zip archive.  Do this by clicking on the Files tab.  Drag and drop the files/folders onto the Files box. Click the plus-sign icon below the files box, then select the files and/or folders you want to be part of the PGP Zip archive in the dialog that appears. Click Add to add the files to the list. If you add a file or folder you later decide you don't want, select the file or folder in the Files list and click the minus-sign icon under the Files box. The file or folder is removed from the list.
     
  6. Click Save. The Save as dialog appears. Specify a filename and a location for the PGP Zip archive, then click Save. If you specified a signing key, you are prompted for the passphrase to the signing key. Enter the appropriate passphrase, then click OK. The PGP Zip archive is created in the location you specified.
     

To open a PGP Zip archive:

  1. Double click the archive file.
     
  2. If the archive was encrypted to your public key, you are prompted for the passphrase to your private key, which will be used to decrypt the archive. Enter the appropriate passphrase and click OK.
     
  3. If the archive was encrypted to a passphrase, you are prompted for the passphrase. Enter the appropriate passphrase and click OK.
     
  4. If the archive was also signed, Encryption Desktop attempts to verify the signature; when verification is complete, a verification screen appears, displaying the results of the verification process. A new folder is created that includes the files and/or folders that were in the PGP Zip archive.
     

Encrypting a file using the Finder:

  1. Use the Finder or other method to find the file you wish to encrypt.
     
  2. Ctrl+click (or right click) on the file. Scroll to PGP and then click Encrypt or Encrypt & Sign (depending on what you wish to do).
     
  3. Select the recipients by dragging them to the bottom window. Note that the private key of the recipient will be required to decrypt the message. Click OK.
     
  4. If signing, select the signing key using the arrow in the signing key window and enter the passphrase when prompted. Click OK.
     
  5. The encrypted file will appear in the same directory as the original and have the .pgp extension indicating that it is encrypted.
     

Decrypting a file using the Finder:

To decrypt a .pgp file, simply double click on it or Ctrl+click (or right click) and point to PGP and then click Decrypt/Verify. Enter the passphrase for the private key of one of the recipients listed. If the file was also signed, a verification window will appear. A decrypted version of the file will appear in the same directory as the encrypted file. Note that the encrypted file will also still exist.