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How to use a Digital ID with TheBat!

Why?

By using a digital ID to sign all your outgoing messages, the recipients can be sure that the sender is indeed yourself, and that the message is not a fake one. In addition, digitally signed messages can be encrypted, so that only the intended recipients are able to read them.

These facilities are critical for internet-based commerce, as well as for the interchange of sensitive data. But at the same time, the digital signature is not targeting only corporate users, because home users can apply it too.

A significant privacy enhancer is Dekart Cryptographic Provider. This tool will allow you to use a special key which is needed when an email is digitally signed and/or encrypted. Without the key, one will NOT be able to digitally sign emails on your behalf. The key is needed when you have to open an encrypted email you have previously received.

Summary

Once you configure TheBat! to use a digital ID, you get the following advantages:  

  • 100% accurate spam-efficient (using the powerful filtering features of TheBat!) 
  • Confidence in the fact that the message is authentic 
  • Ability to send encrypted messages 
  • Simplicity of use (just use your mail client in a usual fashion) 
  • Compatibility – your friends are able to receive your signed and encrypted messages even if they operate with a mail client other than TheBat!

Other facts  

  • Fast and easy integration with all the popular mail clients, not only TheBat! 
  • No cost of implementation (you can get a digital ID from Dekart for free)

How

First of all, you should get yourself a free digital ID by visiting this site: https://inside.dekart.com/digital_id/ Fill in all the blanks with your personal data. Make sure that you typed in your email address correctly, as the certificate will be sent there. Choose Microsoft Enhanced Cryptographic Provider v1.0 from the list, and press Request Certificate.

Once the certificate is successfully installed on your system, you will have to configure TheBat! to use the Microsoft CryptoAPI instead of its internal implementation.

1-2-3Easy

  1. Go to https://inside.dekart.com/digital_id/ and apply for a free certificate.
  2. Follow these steps to install the certificate.
  3. Run TheBat!, go to Options\SMIME, select Microsoft CtyptoAPI and press OK.
  4. Go to your account's properties, select Options from the tree on the left.
  5. In the 'Message editor settings', disable OpenPGP, enable S/MIME; then choose whether you want all your messages to be automatically signed and\or encrypted.

Tips

  • You can use digital signatures as a part of a 100% efficient spam-filter.
  1. Right-click on your account, choose Sorting Office/filters.
  2. Create a new filter for the Incoming mail.
  3. Change the condition to Message(attributes) is not signed
  4. Switch to the Actions tab and choose an action, ex: Delete message from server.
  5. Set the rule to Active.

This means that all the unsigned messages you receive will be deleted. This is the most efficient and accurate spam-protection. But note that all your friends and colleagues will have to get themselves a free certificate too (any certificate will do, not only the free certificates offered by Dekart).

  • Once you got your certificate properly configured, you can perform some additional steps, enhancing your privacy and mobility. This is achieved with Dekart Cryptographic Provider. Like any other crypto provider out there, the one developed by Dekart is designed to provide a secure certificate-storage area. However, there is a distinction that makes it a lot more flexible – the ability to store the data on virtually any kind of media. This includes USB tokens, smart cards, USB flash disks, flash memory cards (or any other device that operates with flash memory, such as a digital camera, or a Palm handheld). Once you set things up, your encrypted messages will only be available when the key is present.

How to use the Cryptographic Provider:

    1. Install Dekart Cryptographic Provider
    2. Open the Control Panel and run Dekart Key Migration
    3. Press Select, and choose your certificate from the list
    4. Choose Dekart RSA Cryptographic Provider from the list of target crypto-providers
    5. Choose whether you want to migrate the certificate and the private key, or just the private key (if not sure, choose the second option)
    6. Press OK and wait for the process to end

Next time you perform an operation that somehow involves certificates, you will be asked to insert your key (either smart card, or USB flash disk, or token, etc), only after that the operation will be able to successfully continue.

Q&A

Smiley What if my friends or colleagues don't have a digital certificate?

This is not a problem, anyone can get a free certificate from Dekart by visiting this page: https://inside.dekart.com/digital_id/

Smiley Can people use the digital signature and email encryption if they don't have a mail-client?

No. Unfortunately, web-based email services are unable to operate with encryption or certificates. The problem is that the certificate has to be installed on your computer. This digital ID contains your encryption keys, this is what allows the messages to be decrypted or encrypted. In the case of web-based email, storing your certificate on a remote computer would ruin the whole concept of security, because the digital ID is supposed to be 'tied' to its owner.

Smiley Does everyone have to use TheBat! in order to be able to successfully decrypt or encrypt emails?

No, the entire process works in the same way with any mail client. In other words, your digitally signed or encrypted email, sent with TheBat! can be decrypted by a recipient who uses Outlook or Thunderbird, or any other email client that supports the digital signature.

Smiley I can't read my encrypted sent emails, what is happening?

When you send an email, its contents is encrypted with the recipient's public key, which means that the message can be read only if the private key of the recipient is available. This is how encryption works. You will not be able to read the messages you have already sent. However, you should look at the bright side – this will teach you to be careful with what you write, so that you won't have to re-read your emails multiple times after sending them.

Smiley I am using Mozilla Thunderbird, but I can't install the digital ID, Thunderbird tells me that I need to ensure validity and trust of the certificate. What is wrong?

You need to add Dekart to your trusted authorities list, follow these steps to do that:

  1. Run Tunderbird, go to Options\Advanced\Manage Certificates
  2. Switch to the "Authorities" tab, find Dekart, press "Edit"
  3. Mark the checkboxes

Additional information:

kb.mozillazine.org/Thunderbird_:_FAQs_:_Install_an_SMIME_Certificate

kb.mozillazine.org/Thunderbird_:_FAQs_:_Import_CA_Certificate

Smiley What if my friends or colleagues don't have a digital certificate?

This is not a problem, anyone can get a free certificate from Dekart by visiting this page: https://inside.dekart.com/digital_id/

 
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