Save battery with Chrome and the new smart Flash control

This Chrome extension allows us to encrypt our messages on Twitter, Gmail, Facebook, and more

Save battery with Chrome and the new smart Flash control

The encryption of files and conversations has always been associated with the circles of hackers and other users who really want to go unnoticed on the network. That has changed in the past year and a half, since revelations of mass espionage by organizations like the NSA came to light. Now privacy matters even if we have nothing important to say; the problem is to access it easily. Although most of the services already encrypt your connection, we can miss some application that allows us to speak to another person in a public way without anyone knowing what we are talking about.

That is exactly what Shadowcrypt is, which despite having the name of an eighties role-playing video game is actually an extension for the Google Chrome browser developed by researchers from the University of California and the University of Maryland. The goal was to get a simple and fast way to encrypt conversations on social networks like Facebook, Twitter or reddit, in addition to Gmail; In total they have tested 14 pages, although it is still developing and more sites may arrive. In fact the extension itself is only in version 0.3.2 and that’s why we will encounter some bugs and an unfinished interface.

Your messages are secret again

But if we know how to ignore those details, we will find a very useful extension. To start we will have to generate an encryption key for each site where we want to use the function, a key that we will have to share with the person with whom we want to speak in an encrypted way. When using it in your browser the other user will see how the string of characters without any meaning becomes the message that we had sent. The good thing about this method is that it only depends on the people participating in a conversation, and not on a third party such as the owner of the page or service. On the other hand, we must be careful when sharing the encryption key since if it falls into the wrong hands our conversations will be left outdoors. Therefore we have a certain responsibility that everything goes well.

To create a new encryption key we have to go to the Chrome menu, More tools and Extensions. From the list we go to the Shadowcrypt entry and select Configuration. There we will see the keys that already come by default with the extension. Keep in mind that these keys are the same for all users, so we should only use them for testing. The good thing comes when we give New Key and we can add a new encryption key exclusive to us and our friends, associating it with a web page. Thereafter every time we write a tweet or an email the extension will automatically encrypt what we write with the chosen key. To read what a friend has sent us, we give Import in the configuration and paste the key.

Shadowcrypt still has several months of development to fix the problems and bugs it has (many users are finding that it doesn’t work for them, especially on systems other than Windows), but it already has a lot of potential to become the best option to encrypt our messages.

Install Shadowcrypt for Google Chrome

Source | Shadowcrypt | MIT Technology Review