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Smartcards facilitate the secure use of GnuPG in such scenarios. Here, the private key is stored exclusively on the smartcard and will never leave its secure environment. Did you know that the YubiKey NEO5, which you can use for logging in securely to mailbox.org with OTP, does already come with a smartcard for OpenPGP included?

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The smartcard on the YubiKey NEO 5 can only be used in connection with a local e-mail client. We recommend Mozilla Thunderbird with the Enigmail add-on enabled. Enigmail is fully compatible with the functionality provided by the smartcard, and you can manage your smartcard settings from the Enigmail menu in Thunderbird.

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Whenever you use an application that needs access to your private key (e.g., to decrypt messages or to sign e-mails in Thunderbird), your YubiKey NEO 5 must be connected to your device. You will be asked for the PIN and entering this will grant the application access to your private key, and whatever cryptographic operation has been requested will then be performed on the YubiKey.

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