It’s National Cybersecurity Awareness Month

It’s October 2018 and October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month. I want to show you how you can securely encrypt your communications between you and Facebook. I don’t mean communications between you and your friends on Facebook, I mean between you and Facebook itself. Facebook actually allows you to add an OpenPGP key to your profile. This allows Facebook to securely encrypt any emails they send to you.

Why would you want to securely communicate with Facebook? Well consider the recent security issue which affected 50 million accounts. As a good security practice you have to think of how your information is stored on other peoples services. Facebook hires many skilled and intelligent people, no software is completely secure which is why these hacks or data breaches occur. Give a malicious actor enough time and money they will find a vulnerability and possibly exploit it. Which is why you should be more proactive towards your own security. Setting up encrypted emails between you and Facebook is one small step. Let’s see how easy it is to setup encrypted emails between you and Facebook.

Setting Up Encrypted Notifications

First, you will need a pair of OpenPGP or GPG keys. There are several methods you can use that I will not cover in this tutorial. But if you wanted an easy method you can check out a service like Keybase to setup your PGP key pairs. Once you have your PGP (or GPG) key pairs is really easy to setup encrypted emails with Facebook.

Go to Settings > Security and Login > Advanced

Facebook Advanced Settings







Click the “Edit” button under Encrypted notification emails”







Paste your Public PGP key in the text box. Again paste your Public PGP key, not your private key. Be sure to check the box that asks if you want to use this key to encrypt emails between you and Facebook. Then click the blue button to “Save Changes”.

You are now a bit more secure

Facebook will now send you a notification email that will be encrypted. Use your preferred decryption software to decrypt the message. Inside the email there should be a link that Facebook will require you to click on or copy, paste into your browser. This link is to verify that you in fact requested this change and that you can decrypt the email. And that’s it! You can now securely receive encrypted email notification emails from Facebook.

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