Encrypting Email: Using Enigmail In IceDove

If you are using a secure PC, which operates with any semblance of anonymity, you will be concerned about email privacy. Anybody that cares about the potential for any person other than your intended recipients reading your sent email, wants to encrypt their emails. Even if you don’t feel that you have anything to hide, then it will protect the privacy of your recipients.

IceDove is the Mozilla Thunderbird email client rebranded by Debian Linux. Frankly I have always used Thunderbird and have never been left wanting. I prefer Debian Linux over any other distribution, and since IceDove is prepackaged into Debian, and I like Thunderbird, that’s what I use.


Enigmail is a free, open source plug-in, (under the Mozilla Public License), for the Icedove/TBird email client. It allows you to seamlessly use OpenPgP to both digitally sign and encrypt your email, as well as decrypt and verify email you recieve.


Installing and setting up Enigmail is relatively simple. However, I must admit that for some folks, there is a small learning curve to traverse before feeling 100% comfortable encrypting email. Do not be daunted, it’s really not all that hard; my 15 year old child figured it out with minimal guidance. Besides, there will come a day when you will have to encrypt your emails; may as well get used to it sooner than later.

You will need to install and configure the Enigmail plug-in, and set up a digital signature.

If you are using Debian with IceDove, to install Enigmail simply open a Terminal window and use the command:

sudo apt-get install enigmail

and follow this easy tutorial from the DebianWiki.

If you are using some other flavor of Linux and/or Thunderbird, then the below video tutorial should get you through. If you prefer a webpage tutorial, this one will do the job.

Finally, if you are using Thunderbird on Windows, though not advisable by me for a secure, private, computing experience, you can follow this tutorial given by the patriot Edward Snowden.

No matter what above method you choose, all will be quite easy to perform. Once finished, you will be one step closer to a more private computing experience. Both you and your recipients will both benefit from digitally signed, encrypted email under the Enigma for IceDove/Thunderbird plug-in.


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  1. Pingback: The Anonymous Personal Computer | simply Luculent

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