PGP® or Pretty Good Privacy® is a powerful cryptographic product
family that enables people to securely exchange messages, and to secure
files, disk volumes and network connections with both privacy and strong
Privacy means that only the intended recipient of a message can read it. By providing the ability to encrypt messages, PGP provides protection against anyone eavesdropping on the network. Even if the information is intercepted, it is completely unreadable to the snooper. Authentication identifies the origin of the information, certainty that it is authentic, and that it has not been altered.
PGP® has been extensively peer-reviewed by the cryptographic community, and has been found to be totally secure if normal precautions are taken.
Why would any honest person want to use such a product? What do you have to hide? Well, you don't mail love letters or your tax returns on a postcard or in an unsealed envelope, do you? Few persons outside the Information Systems industry understand just how vulnerable to snooping their email messages are. Often they are kept on server backups and logs indefinitely, where they may be viewed by anyone with access to the machine. If your email is sealed with PGP, then its envelope cannot be opened except by the person to whom it is addressed.
What if some day you are planning for the IPO of your new Internet company, or eloping with your secretary, and you decide it is time to start encrypting messages. Could the sudden use of encryption itself give you away? Not if you have been using it all along. So get it now and start using it for the everyday messages you would put in an envelope if they went snail-mail!
Finally, have you ever wondered if some snoop is reading your email. Some people enjoy occasional exchanges of encrypted recipes for chocolate chip cookies, if for no other reason than to drive any possible snoopers nuts.