What Each Leopard User Should Do: Switch to GPG

PGP Desktop and Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard are not good friends. First off, if you are using PGP Desktop 9.6 and Tiger (Mac OS X 10.4), and if your encrypted data is critical to you, either do not upgrade to Leopard or wait for PGP to sort out the various quirks in PGP Desktop. If you, like myself, can’t wait to switch to Leopard though, there’s hope.

You can ditch PGP Desktop.

I’m assuming that you are using PGP Desktop for three purposes:

a. Whole Disk Encryption: Before upgrading to Leopard, just mount your PGP disk under Tiger and and save the contents in the clear. After you switch to Leopard, you can just create an encrypted disk image using Apple’s own disk utility. For me it makes much more sense to depend on Apple than PGP Corporation.

b. File operations. You have encrypted documents. I’ve used GPG (or GNU PGP) successfully for opening documents encrypted earlier by PGP Desktop 10.6.

c. Encrypted email: This will no longer work under Leopard in the way it used to work under Tiger. Again, a switch to GPG can be considered. I’ve installed GPG and managed to access my old PGP-encrypted e-mails. As a safety measure, I’ve also installed Thunderbird 2.0 and Enigmail as well. In the long run I hope to keep Mail.app free of bundles and will use Thunderbird to access my encrypted messages. As I use IMAP, it does not make any difference for my e-mail storage and processing needs.

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