If you have a big secret that you need to share over email, using email encryption with cPanel is an easy way to get going.
Email encryption allows you to lock (or, encrypt) a message that can only be opened (decrypted) with a certain key. Typically, the key that is meant to unlock the message belongs to the recipient.
(!) Never Share your Private Key With Anyone
In order for this system to work securely, you must never share your “private” key with anyone.
On the flip side, you will need to share your “public” key with the public in order for people to send you messages encrypted with your key.
Some people share their public key as a plain text file on the root directory of their site. This is optional, and you can share your key in any way you find appropriate.
Create a Secure Passphrase First
Before creating a key for encryption, you’ll want to create a highly secure passphrase. Be sure to check our full guide on how to create a powerful passphrase that’s easy to remember.
How to Create a GPG Keypair in cPanel
First you can create the key in cPanel. All you’ll need to do is follow these steps:
- Log Into cPanel
- Select Encryption under Email
- Fill in the fields under Create a New Key
- Use your secure passphrase (created above) as the password
- Click Generate Key
Now you will have a keypair that consists of a public key and a private key.
In order to use these keys with your email client, you will need to export them from cPanel and import then into your email client.
Tip: It’s easy to set up the Mozilla Thunderbird email client for email encryption using the Enigmail plugin.
After following the steps in that guide to install Thunderbird and the Enigmail plugin, you will need a copy of your puplic key and private key from cPanel.
How to Copy Your Keys from cPanel
Now, we’re going to copy our keys from cPanel so that we can import them into whichever email client we’ll be using for encyrpting and decrypting messages.
- Log into cPanel (if you aren’t already)
- Click Encryption under Email
- Scroll down
- View public key and private key as needed
- Copy the key to your clipboard (it’s just text)
With your key text copied, you can now import into Enigmal via the key manager or into whichever email client tool you are currently using.
Review this article to explore if email encryption is a good idea for you.