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(also Open Pretty Good Privacy protocol)

OpenPGP definition

OpenPGP, also known as Open Pretty Good Privacy, is a protocol that allows for the encryption and decryption of data. It is based on the original PGP (Pretty Good Privacy) protocol and uses a combination of symmetric-key encryption and public-key encryption to protect the confidentiality of data. The protocol allows users to generate key pairs consisting of a public key for encryption and a private key for decryption and digital signing.The OpenPGP standard is defined in RFC 4880, which specifies the format and rules for encrypting, decrypting, and signing data using OpenPGP.

See also: brute-force attack, angler phishing, synthetic identity theft

OpenPGP examples

  • Email encryption: OpenPGP is used in encrypting emails, ensuring the content can only be read by the intended recipient.
  • File encryption: It can be utilized to encrypt files, making them inaccessible without the appropriate decryption key.

Pros and cons of OpenPGP


  • Security: OpenPGP uses strong cryptographic algorithms for encryption, decryption, and signature, providing a high level of security.
  • Non-proprietary: Because it is an open standard, OpenPGP is widely accepted and can be used in any software that supports the standard.


  • Complexity: OpenPGP has a complex key management system, which might be challenging for some users to grasp.
  • Time-consuming: Encrypting and decrypting processes can be somewhat slow due to the intense computation required.

Using OpenPGP

  • When using OpenPGP, make sure to safely store and manage your private keys. If lost, encrypted data may become unrecoverable.
  • For added security, use OpenPGP in conjunction with a VPN for added security to your internet connection and online activities.

Further reading

Ultimate digital security