Encrypted Email

Encrypted Email

 Your email @i3.net is encrypted in transit and on our servers, all connections to our mail servers are through encrypted tunnels coming and going. All email, in transit and on our servers is encrypted.  If you are like most users you will  continue sending and receiving email that is not encrypted, your bank, doctor, power company, insurance company will send you secure mail but it won’t be encrypted. You will only want to use encrypted email with those you know and trust and communicate with you using encryption. 

@i3.net we use PGP (Pretty Good Privacy) or more specifically OpenPGP. Our webmail client has a key manager built in. With PGP you control all facets of your encrypted communication, who and when to encrypt, you can have multiple key sets and identities. There are many providers that have proprietary encryption systems, we feel PGP offers more user control and security you can trust, you have the keys.  

This is how to setup and use PGP on i3.net. We’ll keep this simple. It’s nice if you can understand what’s going on with Public and Private Key encryption, but it’s not necessary.  PGP will make more sense as you start to use it and as you interact with others who use it. For now we’ll set up your keys and get ready.  

To begin you will create two keys, one to lock and one unlock your encoded information.  A key is a block or string of alphanumeric text (letters and numbers and other characters such as !, ?, or %) that is generated by PGP at your request using special encryption algorithms.  

The first of the two keys you’ll create is your Public Key, which you’ll share with anyone you wish. Your Public Key is used to encrypt a message so that its meaning is concealed to everyone except you.  

Then there is your Private Key, which you’ll guard by not sharing with anyone.  The Private Key is used to decrypt–decode–the data (messages and so forth) that have been encrypted using your Public Key.  This means that  the message encrypted (encoded) using your Public Key can only be decrypted (decoded) by you, the owner of the corresponding Private Key.  

Let’s create the keys. In the webmail client go to settings, either the tool or gear icon, and then click on Identities, you will see your current identity, which will appear in the “From” line of emails you send, usually your name and your email address. You can change the Display Name by clicking on the Entry that shows and then editing the Display Name.  

To setup your PGP Keys, again, Go to settings and click on PGP Keys To begin with, this will be empty, to create your keys click on “+” or “create” and you will see a setup screen. You will see your Display Name. the key size, we recommend using  the Default 2048 bits, and two places to enter your password. You are going to use this password often and your browser won’t save it. We suggest you use a three word phrase like “keep-it-simple” so it’s easy to remember. Enter your password and click “save”. You now have a PGP key set.  

Now we’ll set up your mail client to use them. Again Go to settings and click on Encryption, you are presented with the Main Options, select:

Main Options

Enable message encryption and signing Yes
Enable message signatures verification Yes
Enable message decryption Yes
Sign all messages by default No
Encrypt all messages by default No
Attach my public PGP key by default No
Keep private key passwords for  Entire session



Then Click on “Save”


You are now ready to send and receive Encrypted email.

There is some preparation you must make before you start to use encrypted email.  

Before you can exchange encrypted emails with another person you have to exchange public keys. In many cases in the past, individuals have met to exchange keys; to be sure they were who they claimed to be. You start by exchanging public keys over unencrypted email, import the keys, delete that email and now exchange encrypted emails..  

Once you are setup each time you compose an email you will have the choice to encrypt it, you can only encrypt and decrypt mail to or from individuals you share keys with. You will be asked for your password to encrypt or decrypt messages every time you start o new session.  

If you are using a system that works differently you may want to question it’s security.

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Now you are ready to send and receive encrypted email.