Since the recent revelations about email surveillance, some people have asked me about encrypting their emails with OpenPGP (which was confirmed by Snowden as being immune against such spying). The first thing they need to know is usually: Yes, you should use Thunderbird (with Enigmail) to encrypt your emails. And, yes, you can use Thunderbird with Google Mail and still keep all your mails on Google’s server, use the webapp for non-encrypted mail, continue to use labels, etc. You just need to select “IMAP” as the protocol when setting up Thunderbird.
I have compiled a list of a few tutorials below, for future reference.
Tutorials in English:
UPDATE AUGUST 2014: The Free Software Foundation has now published the excellent “E-Mail Self-Defense Guide” which is by far the best resource.
Mozilla: Digitally Signing and Encrypting Messages (a great tutorial for Thunderbird on all platforms)
- How to configure and use PGP encryption for email (Mac, Windows) (very detailled, screenshot-heavy instructions for setting up Thunderbird. Warning: site has a political agenda I do not endorse.)
- Enigmail Handbook: Quickstart (the handbook for the Thunderbird Enigmail extension)
- How to Use Enigmail with GnuPG in Thunderbird (“Security in a Box” tutorial that covers key generation, key management and additional Thunderbird security features)
- Lifehacker: How to encrypt your email (somewhat less detailled tutorial for Windows)
- Working with PGP and Mac OSX (a command-line focussed tutorial)
- A thorough PGP tutorial (a very detailled command-line tutorial for Linux users)
- Guardian project (a tutorial for use of PGP on Android phones and tablets)
Tutorials in German:
- UPDATE August 2014: Die Free Software Foundation hat jetzt den hervorragenden Überblick “E-Mail-Selbstverteidigung” publiziert, der die beste Ressource zu diesem Thema ist.
- Netzpolitik (general introduction, links to more detailled tutorials)
- Zeit: Mein digitaler Schutzschild – step by step tutorial for Thunderbird on Windows or Linux
- Spiegel: So verschlüsseln Sie Ihre E-Mails (A step-by-step screenshot tutorial for Thunderbird on Windows)
- Kattas und Miezes kleine Welt der Technik – heute: PGP (A video produced by the Pirate Party which explains the basic steps in settings up GPG on Windows)