2 min read

Getting verified on Gmail and Apple Mail

I posted a tweet about being verified on Apple Mail, and a few people were asking me how I did it, so I figured I’d document the steps here.

  1. To get started, you’ll need an S/MIME certificate — it’s sort of like a TLS/SSL certificate, but for email. It’s used to sign a message so that the recipient can verify you actually wrote it. S/MIME certificates normally cost money, but you can get a free one from Actalis. Make sure to note down the password when saving the certificate, because you’ll need it for the next step.

  2. Get an email client that supports signing emails. Most web-based clients don’t support this feature, but desktop ones do. I’d recommend Outlook or Thunderbird.

    • For Outlook, follow the guide from Microsoft.
    • For Thunderbird, follow this guide from SSL Dragon.
    • If you’re using another email client, you’ll have to search online, but the steps are usually quite similar — go to settings, find something about encryption or security, and import the certificate.
  3. Send an email! You might have to choose to sign the message when sending, but it’s on by default for most email clients.

  4. View the email in an email client that checks the signature. Apple Mail and Gmail both do this, and will show a verified check when an email is signed. Other clients show a lock icon, or don’t do anything at all.