7.20.2017

How to encrypt your online exchanges with Keybase

Keybase is a free, open source app whose primary aim is to offer universally accessible message encryption with public keys. The idea has evolved over the years from a tedious command line interface to the current multiplatform IM tool that can integrate with loads of different communications services. Public key cryptography that’s usable by anybody.

The project was initially developed by Max Krohn and Chris Coyne, creators of the popular OKCupid, who attempted to offer users an infrastructure that anyone can use to access PGP encryption technology. The aim of the project is to apply this encryption system to any online interaction, whether you’re chatting or exchanging files of any kind.

We’re going to bring things down to earth here and explain the nitty gritty of how this all works. The application is available for Windows and Android operating systems. In both cases, once the software is registered and installed you’ll get a control panel where you can validate your accounts for Twitter, Reddit, Facebook, GitHub, Hacker News, Bitcon addresses, Zcash, and specific webpages, plus create an untransferable personal PGP encryption key for your account and computer. That done, we can send and receive encrypted files that can only be read at both ends of the connection – that is, you and the other person. In theory (and I do mean in theory) this should secure the chat tools we use every day, but the cybersecurity problems we hear about constantly make clear that this isn’t quite the case.

The appeal of the latest version of Keybase is that it works on its own as a chat tool, associating a sort of personal profile to your account that other people can follow, like on a social network, and where, besides starting conversations, you can also check all the social network accounts you’ve added to your Keybase. This ensures you’re interacting over encrypted channels. You can automate file exchange in private or public folders on Windows (though not on Android) meaning, once again, you won’t have to use your device to do these operations.

Keybase is a useful tool that has been around for a few years already, but with the arrival of the smartphone app and integration with chat services and files it’s become an essential free tool if you need to safeguard your chats without having to take a course in encryption in the process.

Keybase for Android on Uptodown [APK] | Download

Keybase for Windows on Uptodown | Download

More information | Official site

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