A new breed of relatively easy-to-use encryption and security services like Silent Circle have started popping up ever since Snowden made his revelations last year. One of the newest additions to that growing list is a Chrome browser extension called ShadowCrypt, which encrypts emails, Facebook status updates, tweets and other messages you send and post on social media. Once you’ve installed it, you’ll need to generate an encryption key for every website you use or for every email you send. You’ll then have to give those keys to people you want to share your posts with (they also need to be ShadowCrypt users, of course), otherwise all they’ll see are garbled letter and number strings like the tweet below.
While you can already find ShadowCrypt on the Chrome web store or install it from its official website, it’s still being researched further by its creators from the University of California Berkeley and the University of Maryland. One of those researchers is Devdatta Akhawe (currently a security engineer at Dropbox), who says the extension’s purpose is to show how encryption methods can both be strong and compatible with popular social media websites. Seeing as the EFF has just confirmed that Facebook, Whatsapp and other similar services aren’t as secure as we’d all like, it’s nice having options like ShadowCrypt for times when you want to be extra careful.