Privacy isn’t dead: you just need to be smart about it. The right tools go a long way.
Encryption is the best way to secure your data, but sending an encrypted file to a friend and having them open it can be complicated. That’s why a number of apps and websites are trying to make things easier for you, so you can keep your information private (without a degree in computer science).
Telegram, a secure messaging service, has been making headlines for just this reason – but it’s not the only easy-to-use encrypted app out there.
Today Cool Websites and Apps brings you five tools that let you encrypt photos, instant messages, your journal, emails, and even your Google Docs. Let’s get started!
Glitchi (iOS): Encrypted Photo Sharing
It’s tragic, but data breaches can turn private photos into public ones, which can lead to devastating invasions (including revenge porn).
Glitchi lets you encrypt photos and send them to anyone. Encryption happens in such a way that no one – not even Glitchi themselves – can access the photos without your permissions, and TouchID means only the intended recipient can “unglitch” the photo.
Surprisingly, all this comes with a pretty nice user interface. If you’d like to send photos in a way that’s secure, give Glitchi a shot.
Download: Glitchi for iOS (Free)
Cyph.im: Encrypted, Browser-Based Chat
We’ve looked at encrypted alternatives to WhatsApp before, but Cyph.im stands out with its simplify. Simply load the website, send the link it gives you to a friend, and you’re started.
Messages are encrypted, and each chat room lasts only 10 minutes. At that point the chat room will close, and all information will be deleted, meaning this isn’t a great tool for ongoing conversations. But video and audio options mean that if you want to have a quick, confidential conversation, Cyph.im is worth knowing about.
Jumble (Chrome, iOS): Encrypt Your Gmail Messages
Email isn’t secure: your messages could be hacked or accessed in any number of ways. We’ve shown you how to encrypt files before emailing them, but what about the text in the email itself?
Jumble is a Chrome extension, and an iOS app, that can encrypt email messages.
Encryption being a two-way process, your contacts will have to use Jumble to decrypt your emails. Instructions for doing so are sent with the email, and don’t necessarily require installing Jumble, which hopefully will simplify the process.
Download: Jumble for iOS (Free)
DocSecrets: Encrypt Parts of Google Drive Documents
Just because you store your documents in the cloud doesn’t mean they have to be insecure. If you’ve got a bit of sensitive information in a document, DocSecrets lets you encrypt it. Just choose a passcode, then insert the information you’d like to protect.
You can install DocSecrets using the “Add-ons” menu in Google Drive. It’s simple enough to use once you do.
BitJournal: Encrypted, Online Journal For Your Private Thoughts
Keeping a daily journal is a great way to sort your thoughts and improve yourself, but truly private thoughts need to be leak-proof. You might have trusted a cheap lock in your childhood, but in 2015 encryption is a better bet.
Which brings us to BitJournal.
Currently in an open beta, this service allows you to keep an encrypted journal on the web. This means you can access your journal anywhere, but other people – including those who run BitJournal – cannot. Only you have the cipher key, and your encrypted journal is encrypted again on the server side.
If you want to keep a journal, and keep it private, this is worth checking out.
What Other Encryption Tools Should We Check Out?
Cool Websites and App tries to focus on new tools that MakeUseOf is yet to cover, which means some things we’ve already covered – like encrypted Dropbox alternatives – might not be outlined.
Still, I’d love to know what your favourite tools for encrypting and sharing information are. Let us know, okay? I’m looking forward to hearing from you, and maybe rounding up your suggestions for the next edition.