PGP & GPG: Email for the Practical Paranoid Paperback – April 1, 2006
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"Buy and read this book to gain a better understanding of how to protect and secure . . . messages from unauthorized viewing." -- About.com, June 12, 2006
From the Back Cover
"Today, most email is sent like a postcard. We all should want to put our mail back into secure envelopes again. PGP and GPG are two of the leading tools to make that happen." Brad Templeton, Chairman of the Board, Electronic Frontier Foundation
Governments worldwide, major manufacturers, medical facilities, and many of the smartest computer experts around trust their secure communications to PGP (Pretty Good Privacy). But, while PGP works amazingly when all is in order, it isnt always easy to configure and can be very tricky to troubleshoot. And email security is hardly the sort of thing you want to leave to chance.
PGP & GPG: Email for the Practical Paranoid is for moderately skilled geeks who are unfamiliar with public-key cryptography but who want to protect their communications on the cheap. Author Michael Lucas offers this easy-to-read, informal tutorial on PGP, so you can dive in right away.
Inside, youll learn:
How to integrate OpenPGP with the most common email clients (like Outlook and Thunderbird)
How to use the tricky command-line versions of these programs
How to join and use the Web of Trust
If you're not using PGP yet, this book supplies the confidence you need to get started. And if you are, it will show you how to use these tools more easily and effectively.
- Publisher : No Starch Press; 1st edition (April 1, 2006)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 216 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1593270712
- ISBN-13 : 978-1593270711
- Item Weight : 12.6 ounces
- Dimensions : 6 x 0.61 x 9 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,506,548 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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This book also have very good introduction to basic concept in first few chapters,
But, GUI programs for GnuPG is quite outdated or discontinued.
If revised with more updated information, this book would be perfect 5 star.
But, now as it is, 3 star only.
This book focuses on the use of PGP as an email encryption tool, although PGP can be used as a general purpose file encryption utility as well. After summarizing the history of PGP and the Open PGP standard, author Michael Lucas clearly and concisely describes how public key encryption with Open PGP can secure routine email messages. This is a how-to guide that gives you the essential understanding you need to quickly make practical use of PGP and its non-commercial cousin Gnu Privacy Guard (GPG).
Lucas' exposition explains PGP better than any previously published treatment -- either in print or online -- I've read. If you need to encrypt, you need to encrypt with PGP. Which means you need this book.
A good book for beginners, but not much that cannot be gleaned from the man page (if you're a GPG user.)
Top reviews from other countries
This guide helped reinforce what I'd already come to know and introduced a few other aspects of PGP key usage that I'd neglected to follow such as setting key expiration dates.
Easy to read with useful illustrations. Recommended.
Lucas takes his readers through the installation and configuration of his two chosen encryption programs (PGP & GPG) and provides useful insights and excellent practical advice throughout. There's also a brief (but fascinating) introduction to the origins of PGP as well as absorbing discussions on key management and the principles that underpin the web of trust concept. But (and this is quite a big but), there are problems with this book that make it questionable as to whether the cover price represents value-for-money.
Firstly, this really is an introductory text and, unless the reader is a complete computer novice, much of this book is pointless: most users will already know how to install a program using the default installation settings (or know enough to be able to follow the installation wizard) and therefore, the significant portion of the book that describes these processes seems somewhat redundant. That's not to say that there is no useful information in the descriptions (for instance, using hashes or checksums to confirm the integrity of the download), only that too much time is spent describing processes that will be patently obvious to virtually everyone that reads this book.
Then, there's the layout: Lucas glibly skips from discussing one program to another in alternate chapters and this has a calamitous impact on the text's rhythm. In fairness, Lucas does warn his readers that they can skip the chapters that are not germane to their circumstances, but that's not entirely helpful to reader with either a general interest in the topic or is concerned with multiple operating platforms or single encryption programs. Perhaps a better approach would have been to separate the contents into three sections allowing readers to have an overview of the subject followed by comprehensive (and uninterrupted) discussions about each encryption program.
Finally, Lucas provides no information here that is not freely available on the Internet: for instance, try searching online using the simple text string, "installation guide PGP". That there are alternative sources of information is not a problem per se, nor is the fact that many comparable guides are available free-of-charge; however, it does make the near twenty quid cover price extravagant!
If you're too lazy to find your own sources and have some money to burn, this is a great introduction to encryption.