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Export my public key
Last modified on 28 January 2018 12:35 AM

To be able to send and receive a PGP encrypted email, you will need your recipient's public key, and your recipient will need your public key. This public key exchange will only have to happen once, and takes place before you send each other your first PGP encrypted email. To read more about StartMail PGP encryption please click here.

There are two ways to exchange public keys; 1) You can send your public key as an attachment in an email to your recipient, or 2) you can use a public key repository, such as the StartMail directory, or the MIT PGP Key Server.  You'll find directions for both options below. (To learn more about public key repositories, please read this article.)

1. Attach your public key to an outgoing email message.

  1. Sign in to your StartMail account at https://startmail.com/login on your desktop or laptop.

  2. Navigate to Settings > Mail Encryption.



  3. Select the Attach my public key option (you may have to select (more options) to reveal this option.)

     

  4. Write and send your email as usual. You would have to ask your recipient to send you their public key, in case it isn't part of a public key repository (see step 2 below).

2) Exchange public keys through a public key repository

To export your public key without attaching it to an outgoing email, follow these steps:

  1. Sign in to your StartMail account at https://startmail.com/login on your desktop or laptop.

  2. Navigate to Settings > Mail Encryption.



  3. StartMail users can easily add and retrieve public keys from the internal StartMail key repository. Non-StartMail users can opt to use a public key repository, such as the MIT PGP key server.

    A. Exchanging public keys with a StartMail user:
    StartMail users who have set up PGP encryption don't have to exchange their public keys through email first, but can select to automatically add it to the StartMail key repository. To do so, make sure the Share my public key option is checked. You can now skip the steps below, and simply write your email and check the "Encrypt this email" option before you send it.



    B. Exchanging public keys with a non-StartMail user: You can export your public key to the MIT PGP key server (or another key directory). To do so, verify that the Use Advanced Options box is checked, this enables the selection of advanced PGP options.



  4. Select Export my public key. (Beware: make sure you are indeed exporting your "public key" and not your "key pair". Please make sure no one else gets access to your key pair, as it contains your private key which must remain private.)



  5. Copy all the text that appears in the resulting popup. Note: By all the text, we mean from "-----BEGIN PGP PUBLIC KEY BLOCK-----" to "-----END PGP PUBLIC KEY BLOCK-----" and everything in between.



  6. Go to https://pgp.mit.edu/ and paste your text in the "Submit a Key" box. Click the Submit this key to the keyserver! button when you're done.



  7. When you are finished, click Close on the popup in StartMail.



  8. To import a public key from the MIT key server, search for their public key, and copy the "-----BEGIN PGP PUBLIC KEY BLOCK-----" to "-----END PGP PUBLIC KEY BLOCK-----" and everything in between. Then click the Import button, next to "Import existing public keys".



  9. Paste the copied text in the box, and click the Import public key(s) button when you're done.



  10. Your recipient's public key will now be added to the PGP keyring. Then Save changes at the bottom of the page.

 

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