Enciphering Web-Based E-Mail

This nifty tip comes from our resident web guru, who's great at finding free new tools that make our lives easier -- and safer. It's an online encryption method that works with web-based e-mail accounts (and Outlook, too). It's also an excellent tool for sending important information via Facebook. There's nothing to download and it's completely free. Here's how it works:

1) You copy and paste the text you want to encrypt on the website https://encipher.it/
2) You create an encryption password
3) You send the message, and in order to decrypt it, the recipient has to enter the same password 

We just tested it using Judy's Gmail account and it worked like a charm.  Update on Outlook (we'd previously said this program didn't work with Outlook): we've been corrected by our web guru and we feel slightly silly. Since this software is cut/paste, it also works with Outlook. Great news! 
Here is some technical information from the creators for your peace of mind:
We use Advanced Encryption Standard to protect your data. All encoding/decoding is performed locally in your browser.


Milos said...

Didn't you consider to use PGP/GPG encryption?


Judy Jenner and Dagmar Jenner on October 18, 2011 at 8:02 AM said...

@Milos: this post wasn't meant to be a comprehensive overview of available encryption methods. We just wanted to introduce one tool that we had found. We are sure PGP/GPG is fantastic, too. We will check it out. Thanks for letting us know!

Thomas Gruber on October 18, 2011 at 1:09 PM said...

As it is "Copy and paste text" it works also with Outlook ;-)

Michael on October 18, 2011 at 4:38 PM said...

Since encryption has been historically a cumbersome procedure, thank you for bringing a simple tool to the attention of your readers – encryption is always better than no encryption.

Two caveats: (1) Who are the people behind the tool? What happens to my text when I paste it into a Web interface? The site is strangely quiet about that. Especially with encryption, having the source code available for public scrutiny helps to ensure that there are no unexpected wrinkles. (2, and this is actually a whole different debate) If security is important, isn't the shared-key approach an inherent weakness?

Judy Jenner and Dagmar Jenner on October 19, 2011 at 6:20 PM said...

@Michael: our pleasure and great questions! We will check with our web guru and get back to you. You are right, it is challenging to find out who is behind the software.

@Thomas: duh, you are right, of course it works with Outlook as well -- one just can't drag the icon to the bookmark. Thanks for setting that straight. Could you answer Michael's questions when and if you have a second, please?

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