Being able to encrypt your files that contain sensitive information is crucial. In Linux, you can do this with relative ease by using the built-in gpg program to encrypt by using a password or having them signed with a private/public key. Luckily for Windows users, you can do the same with a gpg variant called Gpg4win. Here’s how you can use it.
Gpg4win(also known as GNU Privacy Guard for Windows) is a tool based off of the Linux version of gpg, but ported for Windows users. This software is maintained on a regular basis by the original developers of gpg, and has proven to be trustworthy. The interface makes it easy to use and understand.
You can get the installer for Gpg4in here. You will have the option of donation towards the development of this software. If you are unable to make a donation, you can select $0 and click on Donate & Download.
I recommend that if you plan on using this software on a regular basis and like it, make a donation to show your support to the developers.
Go ahead and run the installer and click Next.
You are presented with components to install, for now all that has been checked is sufficient.
Click Next to proceed, and again to install.
Once the installation is complete, go ahead and click Finish while making sure Run Kleopatra is checked.
Kleopatra is the program that we are going to use for all things encryption/decryption. While there are alot features that can be used, for now we are going to simply encrypt a file with using only a password mechanism.
Over on the top left corner click on Sign/Encrypt. You will be asked to choose a file(s) that you would like to encrypt. When you’ve finished, click Open to proceed.
Here, you will be given several options for encryption. Let’s go ahead and check the checkbox right next to “Encrypt with password. Anyone you share the password with can read the data.”
You are then presented with a destination directory for your file, which will be in .gpg format. The default location is the same as the origin file. Go ahead and click Encrypt to start the encryption process.
You will be asked to make up a password for the file that you are going to encrypt. If you would like to have a long password randomly generated, then you can go here. Copy and paste it into the passphrase and repeat fields. If your password is determined to be weak, you will get another confirmation window asking if this is ok.
Note: It is always best to use a complex password to reduce the risk of brute force attacks again the password of your file in the event that is becomes compromised.
Once the encryption process is finished, go ahead and click Finish and locate your .gpg file within the origin directory. This file you will be sending to either yourself or your peers. They can use both this software and the Linux gpg tool to decrypt them.
Don’t panic, when you decrypt the file that you’ve encrypted, you will not be prompted for a password. Only when the file is being decrypted on a different computer.