SEC file icon

SEC File Extension

PGP Secret Key Ring

What is SEC file?

SEC file contains private keys saved in ASCII text. Such keys are used by PGP encryption solution for securing confidentiality and integrity of email data sent on the open, unsecured (or impossible to secure) channels.

Contents of SEC file

Private key is saved using ASCII text. The key may also be saved in binary format. User can choose preferred format by passing an appropriate flag to key creation command.

How does PGP work?

Pretty Good Privacy uses public key system for encrypting email messages. Public key, as the name suggest, is and should be publicly available by designing. PGP algorithm is designed in such way that in order to decrypt a message encrypted with public key, a private key (of given public/private key pair) is needed. Key pair is generated automatically based, among others, on user’s email address and username. It is essential for this system to work properly that the private key be protected against unauthorized access – the SEC file must be therefore stored in a secure environment.

Real-world analogy

In simple terms, PGP solution can be compared to how the traditional mail box system works. Key to our mailbox is like our private key. Anyone can drop a letter into our mailbox slot, but since only we possess the key to the mailbox, no one else can take out the letter. This is the simplified analogy to how mechanism that PGP system is based on works. This also shows why public key should be public and private key protected (access to SEC file must be restricted).

Uses of PGP

Pretty Good Privacy solution is used for securing email messages from unauthorized user access. Encryption also guarantees that the message was not tampered with. PGP also offers and option to sign messages to authenticate the sender.

Programs which support SEC file extension

The following list contains programs grouped by 2 operating systems that support SEC files. Files with SEC suffix can be copied to any mobile device or system platform, but it may not be possible to open them properly on target system.

Programs that support SEC file

Updated: 08/08/2022

How to open file with SEC extension?

There can be multiple causes why you have problems with opening SEC files on given system. On the bright side, the most encountered issues pertaining to PGP Secret Key Ring files aren’t complex. In most cases they can be addressed swiftly and effectively without assistance from a specialist. The following is a list of guidelines that will help you identify and solve file-related problems.

Step 1. Install Pretty Good Privacy software

Install software to open SEC file Problems with opening and working with SEC files are most probably having to do with no proper software compatible with SEC files being present on your machine. To address this issue, go to the Pretty Good Privacy developer website, download the tool, and install it. It is that easy On the top of the page a list that contains all programs grouped based on operating systems supported can be found. The safest method of downloading Pretty Good Privacy installed is by going to developer’s website (Symantec Corporation) and downloading the software using provided links.

Step 2. Update Pretty Good Privacy to the latest version

Update software that support file extension SECIf the problems with opening SEC files still occur even after installing Pretty Good Privacy, it is possible that you have an outdated version of the software. Check the developer’s website whether a newer version of Pretty Good Privacy is available. Software developers may implement support for more modern file formats in updated versions of their products. This can be one of the causes why SEC files are not compatible with Pretty Good Privacy. The latest version of Pretty Good Privacy should support all file formats that where compatible with older versions of the software.

Step 3. Associate PGP Secret Key Ring files with Pretty Good Privacy

If the issue has not been solved in the previous step, you should associate SEC files with latest version of Pretty Good Privacy you have installed on your device. The process of associating file formats with default application may differ in details depending on platform, but the basic procedure is very similar.

Associate software with SEC file on Windows

The procedure to change the default program in Windows

  • Right-click the SEC file and choose Open with option
  • Click Choose another app and then select More apps option
  • Finally select Look for another app on this PC, point to the folder where Pretty Good Privacy is installed, check the Always use this app to open SEC files box and conform your selection by clicking OK button
Associate software with SEC file on Mac

The procedure to change the default program in Mac OS

  • By clicking right mouse button on the selected SEC file open the file menu and choose Information
  • Find the Open with option – click the title if its hidden
  • From the list choose the appropriate program and confirm by clicking Change for all....
  • A message window should appear informing that This change will be applied to all files with SEC extension. By clicking Continue you confirm your selection.

Step 4. Ensure that the SEC file is complete and free of errors

Should the problem still occur after following steps 1-3, check if the SEC file is valid. Problems with opening the file may arise due to various reasons.

Check SEC file for viruses
1. The SEC may be infected with malware – make sure to scan it with an antivirus tool.

If the SEC is indeed infected, it is possible that the malware is blocking it from opening. It is advised to scan the system for viruses and malware as soon as possible or use an online antivirus scanner. If the scanner detected that the SEC file is unsafe, proceed as instructed by the antivirus program to neutralize the threat.

2. Check whether the file is corrupted or damaged

Did you receive the SEC file in question from a different person? Ask him/her to send it one more time. During the copy process of the file errors may occurred rendering the file incomplete or corrupted. This could be the source of encountered problems with the file. When downloading the file with SEC extension from the internet an error may occurred resulting in incomplete file. Try downloading the file again.

3. Ensure that you have appropriate access rights

Sometimes in order to access files user need to have administrative privileges. Log in using an administrative account and see If this solves the problem.

4. Make sure that the system has sufficient resources to run Pretty Good Privacy

The operating systems may note enough free resources to run the application that support SEC files. Close all running programs and try opening the SEC file.

5. Ensure that you have the latest drivers and system updates and patches installed

Latest versions of programs and drivers may help you solve problems with PGP Secret Key Ring files and ensure security of your device and operating system. It may be the case that the SEC files work properly with updated software that addresses some system bugs.

Do you want to help?

If you have additional information about the SEC file, we will be grateful if you share it with our users. To do this, use the form here and send us your information on SEC file.

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