Pretty Good Privacy

What Does Pretty Good Privacy Mean?

Pretty Good Privacy (PGP) is a methodology used for encrypting and decrypting digital files and communications over the Internet. It was released with the BassOmatic symmetric key algorithm but later replaced by the International Data Encryption Algorithm (IDEA) to circumvent certain BassOmatic flaws.


Techopedia Explains Pretty Good Privacy

Created by Phil Zimmerman in 1991, PGP was initially designed for email security. PGP works on the public key cryptography mechanism, where users encrypt and decrypt data using their respective public and private keys. PGP uses a symmetric encryption key to encrypt messages, and a public key is used with each sent and received message. First, the receiver must use its private key to decrypt the key and then decrypt the message through the decrypted symmetric key.

PGP also provides data/file integrity services by digitally signing messages, allowing receivers to learn whether or not message confidentiality is compromised.

PGP is also used to encrypt files stored on a computer and/or complete hard disk drives.


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Margaret Rouse

Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…