How to enable IMAP encryption on an Android device
Last modified on 24 August 2018 08:20 AM
PGP encryption and decryption is not available in most mail clients, and those that do feature PGP support may not be compatible with StartMail's web interface. The following email applications on Android are known to support PGP encryption to a degree:
StartMail does not endorse any third-party email client, and makes no guarantees that any of the applications mentioned here are compatible in any way with StartMail, PGP, or any other service or technology. StartMail does not offer support of any kind for any third-party products, and recommend that you consult with the application creator for help in configuring IMAP or encryption on your mobile device.
K-9 Mail Client Setup:
Once that is completed, download and install APG.
1. Open StartMail in a web browser, and navigate to Settings > Mail Encryption. Ensure that Use Advanced options is selected and then click Export my own key pair below. Copy and paste the text that begins and ends with -----BEGIN PGP PUBLIC KEY BLOCK----- and -----END PGP PRIVATE KEY BLOCK----- into a text editor, such as TextEdit, and save this to disk.
2. Transfer the text file to your Android device; this will be necessary for importing your keypair to APG. There are a lot of methods of doing this. Here are two straightforward methods:
3. Open APG. If the option in the upper left-hand corner does not say "Import from file," tap the menu and select "Import file file," and then and open on the right side of the screen. You may need to tap import in the upper right-hand corner first.
4. Tap the white icon on the right that says Open.
5. You will now see both your keys checked. Tap Import selected keys at the bottom of the screen.
6. To send an encrypted email, open K-9 and compose an email as usual, then:
Note: In order to send and receive PGP encrypted messages in Mail, you will need to import the public keys of each recipient.
7. Since Steps 2-5 can be cumbersome, it’s a good idea to have your contacts attach their public keys to messages they send to you. If they do that correctly, you’ll be able to perform the following steps to import their public key and thus be able to send a receive encrypted messages to and from those contacts:
After performing these steps, you will have files on your device containing PGP keys for you and your contacts. If you wish to dispose of those, you should look into a secure, lightweight file management app. We recommend Android File Transfer or OI File Manager.
R2Mail2 Mail Client Setup:
Before proceeding, you'll need to save your StartMail PGP key pair in a text file on your Android device. If you are familiar with the Android operating system and are comfortable doing so, you can export your keypair from within the StartMail web interface and save it to a text file. If you're not sure how to proceed, follow these instructions:
1. Open StartMail in a web browser on your desktop or laptop computer, and navigate to Settings > Mail Encryption. Ensure that Use Advanced options is selected and then click Export my own key pair below. Copy and paste the text that begins and ends with -----BEGIN PGP PUBLIC KEY BLOCK----- and -----END PGP PRIVATE KEY BLOCK----- into a text editor, such as Notepad or TextEdit, and save this to disk. We do not recommend using Microsoft Word or Wordpad, but if you do, be careful to save the keypair as a Plain Text File instead of a Word Document or Rich Text File.
2. While still on your desktop or laptop computer, log into your StartMail account on the web, and compose a new encrypted email to yourself. Attach the file you just created to this email, and send it.
3. Return to your Android device, and open StartMail in a web browser. Find the email you just sent to yourself, and save the attachment to your device (for example, to the Download folder).
4. Return to your Android device and open R2Mail2. Your StartMail IMAP account should already be configured, as described in article
5. In the Accounts list, tap the "key" icon at the top of the screen.
6. A list of storage locations on your device will be shown. Navigate to the folder that you saved your keypair file in, and select it to import the key pair into R2Mail2. If you're not sure where the file is, or if you weren't prompted to choose a download location, it's likely in /sdcard/Download, or /Download.
Note: If r2mail2 fails to recognize your key, try changing the file extension to ".asc" instead of ".txt."
7. After tapping the keypair file, it will be imported into R2Mail2 and a confirmation message will be displayed. You can now return to your Inbox and beging composing and reading encrypted emails. Note: You'll need the public key for any user to whom you would like to send encrypted emails. They can do this in the StartMail web interface by selecting the option to attach a public key when sending you an email, or by exporting their public key into a text file and attaching it to an email and sending that to you.
8. To send an encrypted email, compose an email normally in R2Mail2 and select the Encrypt option. To decrypt an email, simply select it from your inbox. In both cases, you'll be prompted to enter your PGP passphrase, and the application will offer to store it for you so you don't need to re-enter it when encrypting emails in the future.
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