Get an e-mail certificate

In order to sign, encrypt, and decrypt e-mail messages in Penango, you will need an e-mail certificate and a private key. If you do not have these yet, you can get a certificate for free from Comodo, which is a well-known certificate authority (CA), and in the process your browser will generate a private key. Just follow these instructions:

  1. Open the web browser that you will be using Penango on (i.e., Firefox or Internet Explorer), and go to the Comodo "Application for Secure Email Certificate" page.
  2. Fill out the requested information on the page. In "Key Size (bits)," make sure "High Grade" is selected.
  3. When you are done filling out the requested information, click "Next." Your browser will generate a public-key private-key pair, and send the public key to Comodo so that Comodo can create a certificate for you. (If you are using Internet Explorer, please make sure that the private key is marked as “exportable." Look in the advanced options or details for any options to that effect.) The web browser does not send your private key to anyone. Keep your private key private; do not share it with anyone.
  4. After a few minutes, you will receive an e-mail from Comodo in your inbox. If you don't see the e-mail, check your Spam folder. If it's still not there, wait a little longer and check again.
  5. Open the e-mail from Comodo, which should have the subject line, "Your certificate is ready for collection!" or something similar. Follow the instructions in the e-mail to collect your certificate.
  6. After you have downloaded the certificate to your computer, we recommend that you backup (or "export") your certificate. To backup your certificate in Firefox, go to Tools, Certificate Manager, and then under "Your certificates," click your certificate and then click "Backup." Save the file with a name that you'll remember and to a location that you'll remember. To backup your certificate in Internet Explorer, go to Internet options, then the Content tab, Certificates, and then select your certificate and then choose "Export." When it asks you, "Do you want to export the private key with the certificate," select "Yes, export the private key"; for the remainder of the steps, you can use the default options presented to you by Internet Explorer.

If you already have a certificate

Each time you compose an e-mail in your webmail account, Penango will look for your certificate. If you would like to tell Penango where your certificate is located, in Firefox, go to "Tools," then "Certificate Manager," and then import your certificate; in Internet Explorer, go to "Internet options," then the "Content" tab, then click on the "Certificates" button and import your certificate.