OpenPGP encrypted Instant Messenger SafetyJabber

SafetyJabber is a Jabber instant messenger with integrated encryption for Windows, Mac OS, iOS and Android. The messenger uses the XMPP transmission control protocol (TCP), an open standard developed by the Jabber open source community and compatible with any other of the bountiful IM clients supporting XMPP, this includes Google Talk, Jitsi, Pidgin, Trillian and Gibberbot, but not ICQ, Yahoo Messenger or Skype.

After the installation you will be asked to create a new PGP keypair or to import your own, key length can be up to 2048 bit and the encryption keys password is optional. If you are familiar with PGP encryption everything will be intuitive, otherwise you can watch one of the video tutorials in the developer’s site or read the included help manual with screenshots, there is a user support forum too but everything appears to be in Russian.

Before you can start chatting you will need to create a Jabber account first in any Jabber public server, a list can be found with a quick Internet search. Once you have registered for an account enter the given server settings in Accounts>Add, specifying to encrypt the connection with SSL or StartTLS, those details should be given to you during registration. The Advanced Setings button allows you to enter proxy details to connect to the server, this will hide your real computer IP from the Jabber server.

Encryption OpenPGP messenger SafetyJabber

Encryption OpenPGP messenger SafetyJabber

The premium version version of this program removes an advertising banner, allows for bigger encryption keys of up to 4096 bit, comes with a portable version and a screensaver utility with hotkeys to lock your computer while you are away and to quickly shut it down during an emergency using the hotkey. The program features are simple but enough for all one needs, you get notified when contacts come online, conversations can be logged and there are smilies and a system tray icon with sound notifications, all of this can be configured within the settings. You can download SafetyJabber source code from the official website, checking that there is no backdoor and freely modify the code to add anything you want were you to have the skills for that.

The most appealing thing from SafetyJabber for me is that you can look at the source code, very important for a security product, and they use an encryption standard like OpenPGP. This messenger will make sure that nobody can read the IM conversations with your friends, the private encryption keys always remain in your power and are not stored anywhere else, the only downside is that if you would like to send encrypted files you will have to pay for the premium version.

Visit SafetyJabber homepage

  1. 23 January, 2014
  2. 23 January, 2014
  3. 25 April, 2015

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