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ZD Internet Review

E-mail Encryption Made Easy

Reprinted from ZD Internet Magazine

Who can read your E-mail?  If you didn't answer everyone, then you're wrong.  Anyone from your friendly neighborhood hacker to your e-mail administrator, or your spouse on your joint account can gain access to your messages.  With that thought in mind Sherwood Resources developed WINciphrLite™ for Microsoft Windows.

Geared toward the individual, WINciphrLite™ is a private key encryption tool that is installed on both the sender's and receiver's systems.  The sender creates a message in WINciphrLite™, and enciphers it (encrypts it) with a secret key (or password) that is between three and 16 characters (24 bits to 128 bits) and attaches it to an e-mail message on any e-mail system that supports binary file attachments.  The recipient opens the file in WINciphrLite™, enters the secret key, and can then decipher the message.

We found WINciphrLite™ extremely easy to install and use.  It is also a much faster method of encryption than the public/private key encryption method.  The fundamental difference is that the private key encryption, which WINciphrLite™ uses, requires the same key from both sender and receiver and runs the risk of getting into the wrong hands if used on a widespread basis.  Public/private key encryption uses different keys to encrypt and decipher. The receiver keeps the deciphering key and then distributes the encryption key to anyone.  The advantage to WINciphr's private key encryption is that you can change the password easily and it is of variable length.  The disadvantage is that it is not secure on a widespread basis.

WINciphrLite™ (available for Windows 3.x and Windows 95) is priced at $34.95 for a single copy and the TwoPak Starter Kit is $64.95. It's an easy solution to keeping your e-mail messages secret if you need to transfer encrypted messages safely among a small number of users.  Also look out for WINciphr™, which encrypts any type of file, not just e-mail messages.

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