Hello GVers! This week we'll look at a simple tool that allows you to chat more securely with your friends and GV colleagues.
What is CryptoCat?
CryptoCat is a web app or browser add-on that encrypts your conversations. It works with most browsers.
Encrypts my conversations…what does that mean?
It means that your conversations are encrypted, or scrambled, so that third parties (like hackers, your government, or your internet service provider) can't read them.
How do I use it?
You install it, then open the app and create a chatroom. Use a long or obscure name for the chat room so random people don't show up. You then send the name of the chatroom to other people that you want to chat with.
How do I know that my friends are who say they are?
Once you're in the chat room with another user, you can click on the user's name and select “display info.” This will bring up a page that offers two ways to verify the identity, or key, of that user. You can either use a second channel (such as a phone call, if you know the user's voice, or a Twitter DM) and read out each other's keys in full or you can use the “secret question” function to ask a question that only the other user would know the answer to.
What else can I do with CryptoCat?
You can send an encrypted file. Just click on the other user's name and select “send encrypted file.”
Is CryptoCat safe?
As the site states, no tool is 100% safe, but CryptoCat is open source (you can view the code yourself here) and receives regular audits by experts.
GV Security Watchdog