As everybody knows, emails are being read and stored. I don't like that so much and installed Enigmail, which enables PGP-encryption for emails in Thunderbird. It took me two days to install and understand the details.

Now that it is working I get aware, that I will never really use it, because my family, friends and clients aren't really interested in generating public and private keys. So I won't be able to send any encrypted messages, nor will receive them.

I'm searching for a simple way to encrypt emails in Ubuntu, without having to bother other people with "strange" petitions about software they would have to install to read my emails.

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    I don't think there is such a thing, since for encrypting something, some kind of trust should be stablished between the sender and the receiver. What you can do is signing your emails so it can be checked that you are you, if someone ask (of course this also requires that the receiver installs something. – Braiam Aug 11 '13 at 4:34
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    I think the only way you can achieve this is to use an external provider to host your email. The way I've seen this done in the past is to have a webapp that allows normal send/receive/attach/forward/reply type functionality to emails the service receives on your behalf. When a secured email arrives for you, it sends you a notification. You then have to log in to the webapp to read it. Anyone else who you send / receive to/from also need to use the service. No software install needed, but not as easy as local email client. – FreudianSlip Aug 11 '13 at 7:01

If It shall be possible with encrypted messages, must sender and the receiver be able to read encrypted messages.

sudo apt-get install gpgv2

A suggestion with GPG

Instead of typing text directly into a message, you can write text to a file that you can then use GPG for encryption.

(For use of my suggestion, there is no need of GPG keys.)

An example of that approach:

  1. Create a file on your desktop called message_enc.txt.
  2. Open the terminal.
  3. Type gpg --symmetric message_enc.txt
  4. Choose password. The one who wants to decrypt the message_enc.txt file later should enter the same password to decrypt it.

Result: The file that is now encrypted have about the same name as before, the only difference that there is a new extension at the end of the filename (usually .gpg).

To send the encrypted file in Thunderbird:

  1. Open Thunderbird.
  2. Send a message to someone, instead of writing something in the message you should attach the encrypted file.

To decrypt the message:

  1. Open the terminal.
  2. Type gpg --decrypt message_enc.txt.gpg > message.txt

Update 2016-12-21: It's possible to use the Thunderbird add-on Enigmail to encrypt and read encrypted e-mails.

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