This section focuses on such encryption tools like OTR and PGP. However, your messages can be encrypted outside of an instant messaging application by sending data already encrypted. The first option out there is to use websites that offer these capabilities, and the alternate one – to use browser extensions for text encryption. CryptoData is one of such useful addons you should definitely know about.
CryptoData is a browser-based extension that allows you to encrypt texts for browsers Mozilla FireFox and Google Chrome. I strongly recommend you install it (Mozilla, Chrome).
The addon is free, but I feel a small donation is what we can all do to support the developer. You can use the following link to help.
After installing the extension, your browser will display a CryptoData icon.
Encrypting data using CryptoData
When you press the CryptoData icon, you will see a blank for entering the text message you wish to encrypt (or decrypt). The encryption algorithm used is AES 256-Bit, the best solution for fast and safe encryption to date. Changing it in the settings in favor of RC4 (Rivest cipher) is highly ill-advised as RC4 in 2018 is considered outdated and no longer safe.
Press “Encrypt”, enter a temporary key. The key should be sent to the recipient using a different communication channel.
A reliable key would resemble the following &mWcq!fbBdaFw-!3g;’qB=!§,B.=EqZsqf|[email protected]=`~\qf./!3g;’qB=!§,B.=Eq!!!Ot_l. Be aware that even the strongest encryption algorithm won’t be safe if you choose a weak key.
You can add keys in advance in the settings of the application and when encrypting use one of them. This is convenient when you communicate with different people using a unique key for each of them.
After encryption the text is rendered unintelligible.
Decrypting data that have been encrypted with CryptoData
After the encrypted message is sent to the recipient, he or she pastes the message in CryptoData and presses Decrypt.
The application will ask for the correct key that should be sent via an alternate communication method. If the key is found correct, the recipient will successfully decrypt the message.
CryptoData will help you encrypt private messages created via web-based email clients such as Gmail, social networks and instant messaging. We will mention this useful extension at least a few times as we progress through this course.