Computers can utilize encryption to allow for private communication, identity verification and transport-layer security. This article is a rundown of all the different ways you can make use of this powerful mathematical tool.


PGP has existed since 1997. It is the de-facto standard for asymmetric encryption online and offline.

Asymmetric encryption refers to a model of encryption where every individual holds two mathematically-linked keys; the private/secret key, and the public key.

Put simply, a public key allows you to encrypt information in such a way that only the person who possesses the secret key will be able to decrypt it; This is why it's safe to distribute your public key to everyone. If a user wanted to send an encrypted message to another user, all it takes is the other user's public key and some PGP software to encrypt that message so that only the recipient will be able to read it.

If you want to know more about how asymmetric actually works, you can learn more here.


Every PGP public key supports identities. This means you can give a key a name and an associated email in supported clients. Not only can you send encrypted messages with PGP, but you can also verify a user's identity through the use of fingerprints.

Use in communication

PGP is a supported encryption standard for Emails and XMPP messaging. You can use it to maintain a single, consistent private key for all your communication, which is linked to your email address identity.