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Using Cryptophane to Create an OpenPGP Key Pair

Top > Web Site Gadgets > Encrypted Feedback or Order Form (securemail)

In order to use the securemail script provided by our service, you first need to generate a public and private key pair.  We have elected to use Cryptophane for this because it makes the process pretty simple. The following tutorial will get you through the process of installing Cryptophane, creating the key pair, exporting it, and installing it on the server.

Step 1: Download and Install Cryptophane.

Cryptophane (including GPG) can be downloaded and installed from here.  If you are a Mac user, you will need to find a different OpenPGP compatible program or run Cryptophane in a Windows emulator.  Also note that if you go to the Cryptophane home page, there is a link for downloading Cryptophane by iteslf (without GPG), but unless you already have GPG installed, it will not work that way.

Step 2: Generate a key pair.

After launching Cryptophane the first time, go to Keys -> Generate Secret Key and fill out the form that looks like this:


Be sure the email address is the target email address that you want the encrypted data is sent to. Leave the comment field blank. Be sure to write down the passphrase in a safe place. 

If you forget the passphrase you will not be able to decrypt data sent from the securemail script.  There is no way to decrypt data without this.

Step 3: Make a backup of your private key.

If your computer crashes and you lose your private key, you will not be able to decrypt data sent from the securemail script.  To make a backup of your private key, go to File -> Export Secret Keys.  You will then be asked to choose the key you want to export (choose the key you just generated) and then click "OK". You will then be prompted for a location to save the exported key.  Be sure to save the private key to a secure place.  One strategy would be to back it up to a USB drive and place it in a safe deposit box at your bank. 

Of course, another option in the case that your key is lost would be to just generate a new key pair and re-install the new public key on the server.  The only downside there is that you will not be able to decrypt messages that we're encrypted with the original key.

Step 4: Export your public key from Cryptophane.

Go to File -> Export Public Keys and select the key you just generated.  Only this time, do not save it to a file:


With the public key now stored in your clipboard, you are now ready to install it on the server.

Step 5: Install public key on the server.

Login to your account at http://ActionWeb.com and go to SSL Manager -> Public OpenSSL Keys and click "add" to paste your public key:


...and then click "Add New" to complete the process.  After the key is imported to the server, it will display the OpenPGP user id here:


In the above example, Test Key <testkey@actionweb.com> is the complete OpenPGP user id.  You must use the entire OpenPGP user id in the email template on the To: line for the securemail script for it to work properly.

Last updated April 12, 2011
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