How do you secure your emails with Gmail?

It is possible to secure your emails using Gmail, thanks to a plugin from the Firefox and Chrome browser called: Mailveloppe. Very easy to use, this article details all the steps with screenshots for Firefox.

Theory in a nutshell

This Mailveloppe plug-in uses standard, open source OpenPGP encryption technology. This security is compatible with all your correspondents, whether they are at Gmail or another provider. It is possible to encrypt and digitally sign your emails.

This PGP encryption technology created by Phil Zimmermann in 1991 is called “asymmetrical” because it requires having a private key and a public key. The private key must remain in your possession as the key to your safe for example, it is very valuable. It allows you to encrypt, decipher and sign digitally.

The public key must be sent to your correspondents and/or a key publication server to make it fully public. Your correspondents must also give you their public keys.

Once your correspondent’s public key is imported into your “kit,” you can send them encrypted emails.

Encryption uses your public key and your correspondent’s public key. This encryption gives you the guarantee that only you and your correspondent can decipher it with your private keys.
So your emails, documents are highly secure at the professional level.

Installing the plug-in in Firefox

Step 1: Go to your browser’s Modules via the menu
Step 2: Add Mailvelope to Firefox
Step 3: Allow mailvelope
Step 4.0: Click Generate a Key
Step 4.1: Fill out your name, email address and password. The password can be a sentence with punctuation.
Step 4.2: The key appears in your kit
Step 5: Export your public key. This public key will be sent to your contacts
Step 6: Enable Gmail API integration
Now the installation is complete and you have the Mailvelope icon next to “New Message” allowing you to start writing an encrypted email.
When you first click on Mailvelope, a Google pop-up asks to log into your account to allow Mailvelope to log into your account. The pop-up may be behind the Mailvelope window.

Import a public key from a contact into my kit

Before you send an encrypted email, you need to add your correspondent’s public key to your kit.

Two possibilities, searching a key server or importing the public key that your correspondent will have sent you.

Importing a public key through a file

Here you are, ready to secure your emails!

Examples of cases of use of encryption

The cases are very large, however it is recommended to use it to:

  • Send administrative documents, payslip, income tax notice, application file for a rental or a real estate purchase, etc.
  • Authenticate the identity of the person who sends you the email by their electronic signature. So you avoid the risk of hacking or scamming by an email impersonating one of your trusted contacts.
  • simply: Keep your privacy.