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Should You Use Pgp? Essay

1465 words - 6 pages

Encryption and cryptography have been in existence since the time of the ancient Greeks. Man has always had the need to hide information from some while at the same time allowing others to know what it means. Typically during times of war, encryption has been important to transfer important messages. While encryption is important in cryptography, decryption is held even higher because once the code is broken the secret is exposed. This has in the past, had devastating consequences giving one side the upper hand in winning wars. Cryptography has long been performed by individuals with specialized talents. Encryption systems are often very complex and often difficult to comprehend. At present the type of cryptography we use has moved into the digital arena.With as many individuals using computers these days and all of the personal information everywhere the need for encryption standards is of the utmost importance. Encryption systems are even more complex today instilling fear into governments who are afraid that normal citizens will be able to hold unbreakable secrets because of complex algorithms that are almost impossible to break. Encryption applications such as PGP can help organizations and individuals alike to protect their proprietary and personal information, yet because of the complexity of using cryptography many choose not to. I argue that encryption for organizations and individuals is a good idea, but implementation of that strategy is not easy.Encryption is a way to make some kind of information unclear by those who do not know the code or understand the language. "In cryptography, encryption is the process of obscuring information to make it unreadable without special knowledge, sometimes referred to as scrambling. Encryption has been used to protect communications for centuries, but only organizations and individuals with an extraordinary need for secrecy had made use of it." (3) Encryption methods for individuals has come a long way since the days of the ancient Greeks. People and organizations, if they take the time and have a basic understanding of cryptography can securely protect their personal information. One method that exists for doing this is a software application called PGP. PGP, an acronym for Pretty Good Privacy, was created by Phil Zimmerman in 1991. "He was one of the first to make asymmetric, or public key, encryption software readily available to the general public." (4) Originally PGP was supposed to be used for authoring PGP signed and encrypted e-mail messages, but its uses have since become much more advanced. Signing an e-mail message with PGP provides assurance to the receiver that the e-mail has not been tampered with or modified in any way since its transmission to its destination. "While originally used primarily for encrypting the contents of email messages and attachments from a desktop client, PGP products have been diversified since 2002 into a set of encryption applications which can be managed by an...

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