I want to send a password protected email using gmail. Yes I Know I could attach a document, and protect that instead, but I would like to protect the email body, if that is possible?
migrated from superuser.com May 24 '11 at 8:52
No, that is not possible with email. Such a function is not specified in the email protocoll. The only possibility would be to encrypt the text in your email body with a tool like PGP or S/MIME. The recipient needs to enter his private password to decrypt the email body. But you need a email client or third party tools to support this (as well as your mail recipient).
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If you're interested in encrypting an email with moderate strength but not willing to go through the PGP rigamarole, you could use a Vigenere cipher. It uses a previously agreed-upon word (the key) to apply a rotating Caesar Shift. If I applied the word "protect" to this paragraph, this is the output:
You can use this page to decrypt that or encrypt your own. Note that the Vigenere cipher is not invulnerable to cracking, but it's definitely stronger than rot13, and is a ton simpler than private-public key systems.