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In the previous good and geeky article about encryption we encrypted the files or the folders using Encrypto. In this one we’re going to look at an application called Paranoia Text Encryption – PTE. The information you want to send doesn’t need to be in a specific format requiring it to be inside a file. It isn’t a group of files either, it only needs to be the text. You could create a document which is a text document and encrypt that file with Encrypto. Using Paranoia Text Encryption instead offers a couple of advantages.
There is an old saying which goes “Just because you are paranoid it doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you!” So even if you are paranoid you should still be encrypting text in emails. You should also consider encrypting text when you send within messaging apps not offering end-end encryption. Email as an Internet service is highly insecure. Some messaging services are less secure than others. These insecurities are the reasons so many people get hacked. Do you really want to be one of those people to have their digital identity stolen? There are bad people doing bad things on the Internet. It’s time to take the matter into our own hands and encrypt our communications. Paranoid Text Encryption applications and its service available via a browser are useful tools. You can use on a Mac, on a Windows machine, Linux, on an Android device, as an iOS app or in whatever browser. Your friend doesn’t even have to install any software for this to work.
1. Open the app on whatever computer or device.
2. Paste the text to be encrypted into the app.
3. Enter the session password.(Use a good one)
4. Use the default algorithm or choose one of the others available.
5. Click or tap on the Encrypt button and your text is presented in the window below encrypted and unreadable.
6. Click and drag the cursor across the text to select it. Or use the keyboard combination of Command A to select, then copy it to the clipboard. On iOS you can use the share button to send the text to the clipboard.
7. Paste the contents of the clipboard into your messaging app or email client to send to your recipient. On iOS in the share menu you also get the option to share to the Mail app and to the Messages app.
8. Send the password to your recipient by secure means. Such as with a telephone call or using a messaging service with end-to-end encryption.
1. You select and copy the encrypted text.
2. Open the application Paranoia Text Encryption and enter the password you received from your friend.
3. Paste the copied text into the application. On the Mac this is the lower portion with the red border around it. On iOS you just click on the paste button.
4. Click or tap on the button to decrypt.
The decrypted text of the message will appear in the application for you to read. This process is easy and fast as well as being secure and private.
On the Mac and also on iOS this application has another trick. Steganography is where the text of your message is hidden within an image. You send a picture to your friend with the text hidden within the file. It’s impossible to discern or read the text by looking at the picture. No one would have any idea the picture contains a secret message. When the application makes the Steganogram it does change the file name slightly. It adds .f5 at the end of the filename and most people wouldn’t notice that. Even if they did, it wouldn’t matter if they didn’t have the password. You can change the file name to whatever you like and the Steganogram will still function.
The steganography works really well and the only thing you need to consider is the means of transport through the Internet. There are some messaging services which compress images before sending them. If the images get compressed then the secret message is lost. The best thing to do is to test with your messaging app to see if it works or not.
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