S/MIME Email Encryption and You

I’ve been a reading a little too much Cory Doctorow  recently and decided I should look at digitally signing/encrypting my email.  When I first looked at email encryption it was a pretty manual process with PGP(back in like the mid to late ’90s), and pretty much no point to doing it as no one else was (Gee, I can send something to myself…  wee).

Step into the current status and most smartphones support the use of S/MIME certificate signing, even iPhone natively now (we won’t get into the debate over NSA access to your iPhone)

Justin Rummel has a great primer on S/MIME Encryption and why you should be using it (as well as some posts on using S/MIME Encryption targeted at the Apple crowd).

To get started you need to get yourself a certificate for your email address, and a good place to get a free certificate for S/MIME is StartSSL

They provide digital certificates for different uses and different security levels, and generally have been very helpful.

If you go to their web-page and click on the icon in the top right hand corner, then click on Sign-up you can start the process…

Screenshot from 2014-01-03 15:25:57

startssl_signup

Fill out the form with your relevant info

enrollment

 

You will be emailed a verification code to your email address you enter into the form, copy and past it into the prompt for your code on the website.

You will then receive the prompt to install the certificate in your browser.  You may now rejoice, as you have managed to complete the first part of securing your email.

In my next post I’ll show you what to do with your shiny new certificate to be able to Sign/Encrypt your email.

And no, I’m not affiliated with StartCom.org who provides the service.  I’m just a happy user of their services since 2010.

 

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