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How to encrypt your data using OpenSSL

For those of you comfortable with the command line, there is an alternative way to password a file using the free utility OpenSSL, for example if you wanted to password protect a .tar archive with documents documents called unencrypted-data.tar

From the command line, type:

$ openssl des3 -salt -in unencrypted-data.tar -out encrypted-data.tar.des3
enter des-ede3-cbc encryption password:
Verifying – enter des-ede3-cbc encryption password:

That command will encrypt the unencrypted-data.tar file with the password of your choice and output the result to encrypted-data.tar.des3, to unlock the encrypted file, use the following command:

$ openssl des3 -d -salt -in encrypted-data.tar.des3 -out unencrypted-data.tar
enter des-ede3-cbc encryption password:

You can also use OpenSSL commands to verify a digital certificate, encrypt a S/MIME message, connect to a secure SMTP server, and much more!  The page below contains lots of command line examples on how to do that.

OpenSSL Command-Line HOWTO

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