There are plenty of open-source options for encrypted chat, but Keybase sets itself apart by offering an interesting social media integration to its encrypted chat service.
If you don’t already use Keybase, you will have to go through a few initial steps to get the app up and running for use on Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, Github, and HackerNews.
Install the Desktop App
The first thing you’ll need to do is download the app to your computer. Keybase is currently available on Mac, Linux, and Windows.
When you open the app the first time, it will ask if you want to install Keybase for use in the Terminal. Click Yes, Install and proceed to sign up for a free account.
To use Keybase on the various social media sites, you will need to verify your accounts through the desktop app. The way that Keybase does this by getting you to post something publicly on Twitter, Facebook, or whichever site you want to verify. Keybase says that you should not delete your post, explaining that it’s used by other users to verify it.
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Do this by going to your profile and following the instructions for each profile. You will have to enter your social media username to begin the process. You can always revoke access if you choose to. You can also use Keybase to create a PGP key and add it to your profile.
Install the Browser Extension and Start Chatting
The next step is to install the browser extension, which is available for Chrome and Firefox. Once installed, you will see Keybase buttons on the various social media sites.
Let’s say you’ve linked your Twitter profile. You can now go to any user’s Twitter profile and click the Keybase chat button to start an encrypted chat. You will need to let them know you sent them a message using Keybase, and the message will be there waiting for them when they set up.
When using the desktop chat app, you can also share files, turn on notifications, and add more participants to the chat for group conversations. You will need to keep the Keybase desktop open to send messages through social media sites.
All messages sent using Keybase are end-to-end encrypted and Keybase themselves cannot view your messages.
What methods do you use for encrypted chat? Let us know in the comments.