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GNU Privacy Guard quick tutorial, did I get this right?

Posted on 2012-03-25
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Last Modified: 2012-06-22
Can someone please explain to me in layman terms what the whole concept is? I was tasked to encrypt a file but there's so much terms that confused me such as "privacy"/"public" key, fingerprint, signature....etc.,

I generally thought you basically use one app to generate a public/private key. The public is then shared to the recipient, where you the creator keeps the private key. The private key is used so I can add more accounts or in other words create more keys.

Signature is basically just verification that is used when the recipient receives the encrypted file and basically executes the file to be decrypted.

Finger prints? No idea...did I get this all right? I need it to be explained so that when I use the software, its easy to understand. Say if you explain "signature" , I would need the concept and how its technically done using the software.

Thanks so much!
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Question by:TeknikDev
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abbright earned 500 total points
ID: 37764484
In general both the public and the private key belong together. With the public key a message is encrypted with the private key it can be decrypted. So you share the public key so that other people can encrypt messages sent to you which only you can decrypt.

Regarding signatures it works the other way around: In order to create a signature for a digital document you create a hash of the document which is something like a checksum. Then you encrypt this hash number using your private key and distribute the document. People who want to check the signature use your public key to decrypt the signature and compare it to the hash they calculate themselves.

Here is a more elaborate explanation of the whole concept: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asymmetric_key_algorithm
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