What is a PGP passphrase? (New)
Last modified on 20 February 2020 11:46 AM

What is a passphrase?

A passphrase is similar to a password, but is generally longer than a password for additional security purposes. A passphrase is typically composed of multiple words, being more secure against standard dictionary attacks, wherein an attacker tries all the words in the dictionary in an attempt to determine your password. A good passphrase is complex, is long in terms of length, and contains a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numeric characters, and symbols.


What is a PGP passphrase at StartMail?

For newly created StartMail accounts, by default, your PGP passphrase mirrors your account password, meaning that you use the same password you log in with as your PGP passphrase. The reason for this is because we want to simplify the general complexity of PGP for our users. Since new users will automatically have a PGP passphrase when signing up for a StartMail account, they can immediately make use of PGP, with both StartMail recipients and non-StartMail recipients. When you log in to your StartMail account, the software mounts your encrypted vault while your session is active, yet never remembers your password, so the chain of encryption provided by PGP is still present.



  • Please make sure to NEVER share your StartMail password or PGP passphrase with anyone, including the StartMail support team.
  • If you wish to change your PGP passphrase, follow the instructions here.


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