So what is PGP?

PGP stands for Pretty Good Privacy. It’s considered the De Facto when it comes to encrypting and decrypting emails, files, etc. It allows a sender confidence that his/her data was not compromised as it makes its way through the internet to the receiver. It is the most widely used solution by not only individual users but major Forture 500 corporations. It was developed by Philip R. Zimmerman in 1991.

Despite PGP being designed to protect Constitutional privacy, Mr. Zimmerman became a target of the Federal Government and a three year criminal investigation. From the Fed perspective, restrictions for cryptographic software was violated by PGP when it spread worldwide despite funding, staff, or corporation to stand behind it. Eventually the investigation was dropped in early 1996 and Zimmerman went on to head up as a senior consultant to help PGP gain its wings in the internet security community.

How does PGP work?

A variation of the public key system is used. With PGP, a user has a publicly known encrypted key and a private key only known to that specific user. If you want to send an encrypted message, you will encrypted it using the receivers public key with a symmetric encryption algorithm. When the receiver receives the encrypted message, the user can decrypt with their private key.