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Active Window Encryption

If you wish to encrypt the actual text within applications such as Microsoft Word, WordPad, Outlook, you may refer to these instructions to do so. PGP Desktop has two features available for this, the "Current Window" and "Clipboard" features. Each is described below.

Encrypt/Decrypt Text with the "Current Window" Feature

PGP's "Current Window" encryption feature allows you to encrypt/decrypt the text of whatever window is the "current window" on your screen at the moment. This feature is accessible by clicking your PGP Desktop icon (gray padlock in system tray).

To use the "Current Window" feature to encrypt text, do the following:

  1. Make sure the window – whose body of text you wish to encrypt – is the foremost window on your screen.

  2. Click the PGP Desktop icon in your system tray. (gray padlock)

  3. Point to Current Window.

  4. Click Encrypt or Encrypt & Sign.

    view screenshot (ActiveWindows02.jpg)

  5. If you will be using conventional encryption, check the box labeled Conventional Encryption; otherwise drag the intended recipient(s) to the bottom Recipients window.

  6. If the file may be vulnerable to a TEMPEST attack, check the box labeled Secure Viewer.

  7. Click OK.

  8. If you chose conventional encryption, enter and confirm a passphrase for the file, then click OK. If you chose to sign the file, enter the passphrase for your private key and click OK.

    view screenshot (ActiveWindows03.JPG)

To use the "Current Window" feature to decrypt text, do the following:

  1. Make sure the window-containing the body of text you wish to decrypt-is the foremost window on your screen.

  2. Click the PGP Desktop icon in your system tray (gray padlock).

  3. Point to Current Window.

  4. Click Decrypt & Verify.

    view screenshot (ActiveWindows04.jpg)

  5. If your passphrase is cached, the decrypted text will be displayed in the PGP Text Viewer. If necessary, click the Copy to Clipboard button, then paste the decrypted data.

  6. If the passphrase for your private key is not cached-or if the text was encrypted with conventional encryption-the Enter Passphrase window will appear (which also shows all the public keys to which the file was encrypted, if applicable).

  7. Enter the passphrase for your private key (or if the text was conventionally encrypted, enter the passphrase chosen by the encrypting user), then click OK. At this point the PGP Text Viewer will appear displaying the decrypted data. If necessary, click the Copy to Clipboard button, then paste the decrypted data.

    view screenshot (ActiveWindows05.jpg)

Encrypt/Decrypt Text with the "Clipboard" Feature

PGP's "Clipboard" encryption feature allows you to encrypt/decrypt text which has been copied to the Windows "clipboard". Thus when you paste the information from the clipboard, it is pasted as encrypted text.

To use the "Clipboard" feature to encrypt text, do the following:

  1. Copy the text which you desire to encrypt.

  2. Click the PGP Desktop icon in your system tray (gray padlock).

  3. Point to Clipboard.

  4. Click Encrypt or Encrypt & Sign.

  5. If you will be using conventional encryption, check the box labeled Conventional Encryption; otherwise drag the intended recipient(s) to the bottom Recipients window.

  6. If the file may be vulnerable to a TEMPEST attack, check the box labeled Secure Viewer.

  7. Click OK.

  8. If you chose conventional encryption, enter and confirm a passphrase for the file, then click OK. If you chose to sign the file, enter the passphrase for your private key and click OK.

  9. Now paste the contents of the clipboard into a text editor. At this point an encrypted PGP message should be pasted.

    To use the "Clipboard" feature to decrypt text, do the following:

  10. Copy the text which you desire to decrypt.

  11. Click the PGP Desktop icon in your system tray (gray padlock).

  12. Point to Clipboard.

  13. Click Decrypt & Verify.

  14. If your passphrase is cached, the decrypted text will be copied to the clipboard.

  15. If the passphrase for your private key is not cached-or if the text was encrypted with conventional encryption-the Enter Passphrase window will appear (which also shows all the public keys to which the file was encrypted, if applicable). The text will then be copied to the clipboard.

  16. Now paste the contents of the clipboard into a text editor. The pasted text should be in decrypted and readable form.

Recommendations:

If you use conventional encryption as the encryption method for any of your files, do not email the passphrase to those who need to decrypt your files. Communicate the passphrase in person, over a secure phone line, or in some other secure manner.

If you allow a passphrase to be cached, PGP will decrypt the data without the need to enter your passphrase; therefore, someone could decrypt your files if they have access to the computer. Caution is recommended when deciding whether or not to cache a passphrase.