HOW TO: Create a PGP Key in Encryption Desktop for Windows

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Article ID: 180217

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Desktop Email Encryption Drive Encryption File Share Encryption Powered by PGP Technology

Issue/Introduction

 

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This article details how to create a PGP key using Symantec Encryption Desktop (previously PGP Desktop) for Windows.

PGP Keys are essential to the use of Encryption Desktop, it is important to backup your keys by either exporting the key(s) them to a file and storing in a secure location, or by using the backup feature provide within Encryption Desktop (see the Backup option within PGP Options).

Note: Enter a passphrase that is not easy to guess, but do not enter a passphrase easily forgotten. If you forget the passphrase to a key, any Email or file encrypted to the key will remain encrypted and appear as cipher text.

 

Create a Keypair

Use the following steps, if you skipped the PGP Key Assistant keypair creation during installation, or if you would like to create a new keypair.

  1. Open Encryption Desktop.
  2. Select the PGP Keys Control box.
  3. Click the File > New > PGP Key.
  4. When the Key Generation Assistant appears, click Next.

    Note: If you will be generating a PGP key on a token, the option to create on token will be displayed below. If the token is not connected, the option will not be available.
     
  5. Enter a Full Name and Primary Email address for the key. If you would like to enter additional email addresses to be associated with the key, click More, and enter the email addresses in the spaces provided.
  6. (Optional) If you wish to specify specific key type/size/algorithm settings, you may do so by clicking the Advanced button.
  7. Click Next.
  8. Enter and confirm a passphrase for your key then click Next.
  9. After the key generation completes, click Next.
  10. When the key generation process completes, click Next.
  11. (Optional) You can add the public key portion of your key to the PGP Global Directory. The PGP Global Directory is a free service designed to make it easier to find and trust PGP keys. By publishing your key, you can allow others to start sending you encrypted email.

    Click Next to add your new key to the PGP Global Directory or click Skip if you want to prevent the public key from being posted to the PGP Global Directory.

    Note: a key can always be uploaded later if desired.
     
  12. Click Finish. Your new PGP keypair has been generated.
     

Caution: After the key is created, consider backing up your private key to a safe location.  Your private key is very important and losing it could have catastrophic consequences once you have data that is encrypted to it.  For more information, see article TECH149508.