How to Send Encrypted Text Messages on Android
Security, privacy, and encryption have become very important concepts in recent years, especially in today’s connected world. These concepts are not new. They’ve been used since ancient times when delivering important, confidential history-altering messages. These concepts remain relevant, if not essential for today’s businesses. So, this time we learn How to Send Encrypted Text Messages on Android.
There are situations when privacy and confidentiality are crucial and have to be protected. This is thanks to corporations continually harvesting data whether we like it or not. We can also thank hackers monitoring and intercepting our messages and transactions to try and steal our money. And lastly, abusive governments taking advantage of modern technology to eavesdrop on the privacy of their citizens.
Social media has also adopted censoring so it would be nice for people to continue to freely interact with followers without the risk of censorship. Thankfully, they can’t censor gibberish between people and their followers once we’re done with this tutorial on How to Send Encrypted Text Messages on Android.
In businesses, there are things that only top management should know and should not be seen by rank and file. And lastly, important information that should not be seen by other people, especially strangers or thieves. Thus, it becomes necessary to be able to receive and send encrypted text or encrypted email. By learning How to Send Encrypted Text Messages on Android, eavesdropping eyes will not be able to make sense of the information on your phone or computer without the necessary tools. Without further ado, learn how to encrypt text or email on Android with the following steps.
Step 1: Set up Encryption Key
First, we need a tool that can do encrypting for us. There’s plenty out there on the Google Play Store. For the purposes of this tutorial, we will use an open-source app called OpenKeychain.
① Go to the Google Play Store and download the app. It uses the secure PGP encryption standard. This app needs to be installed for both sender and recipients. So, if you’re going to use this app, tell everyone involved to download and install it.
② Once downloaded, launch the app and select the Create My Key option. Add a name to associate with the key, followed by an email address. Select Create Key. The app then creates what is known as a public key on your device.
③ Share the public key with everyone in your group. The public key can be sent via email or Whatsapp in the form of a file.
④ Once received, the file should be saved somewhere on the device. The other users can launch their own OpenKeychain app and select ‘Import Key From File’. Search for the folder where the public key file was saved to. Then select the file. Then click on ‘Import’ to add the public key to the app’s contact list.
⑤ Everyone else in the group can then create their own public keys to send and import. So, everyone in the group should have each other’s keys for this to be effective.
Step 2: Send Encrypted Messages
① Once the sender has your public key and vice versa, you can now send encrypted messages to each other. To send a message, click on the recipient’s public key.
② You will see two icons on the top with small padlocks. The folder icon is for encrypting files while the message icon is for encrypting text messages. For this tutorial to send encrypted messages on Android click on the message icon.
③ Type your message on the screen that follows. Aside from what we assume will result in encrypted gibberish, there’s an additional layer of security in the form of a password. You may use it if you wish, assuming the other party knows it too.
④ After typing in the message, click on the Share icon to send the encrypted message via any messaging app on your phone. Be it a text message, Messenger, WhatsApp, Gmail, or Outlook. You can also copy the encrypted message and paste it on other apps, such as a text editor, so you can send the message as a file attachment.
Step 3: Decrypt Incoming Messages
Here are the steps to take when an encrypted message arrives in your inbox through OpenKeychain.
① First, copy the message contents onto the clipboard. Encrypted messages tend to be rather long so make sure you select everything.
② Switch to OpenKeyChain. Go to the ‘Encrypt/Decrypt’ option. Select ‘Read from Clipboard’.
③ If the sender used your public key to encrypt the message, then the message should be revealed immediately.
For kids, friends can now play spy with each other and even mess with their parents, while teens and students can now pass gossip or confidential messages. Meanwhile for companies, being able to send encrypted text or email on Android, will be a big improvement when it comes to confidentiality.
With Openkeychain, businesses for example, can now send encrypted payroll details and attachments to employees without fear of other employees knowing their contents. Contents of contracts between companies and clients won’t be known to the public unless disclosed and confidential messages won’t be read in case the phones are lost or stolen. So long as the OpenKeychain app is not kept in an obvious spot on the Android home screen.
While this tutorial is for Android, we would like to mention that this is also possible for iPhones using a free app like PGPro using very similar steps. While both apps use the secure PGP standard, we are not 100% certain that both products are compatible. We just wanted to mention that there is a similar option for Apple users.
We hope you enjoyed this tutorial on How to Send Encrypted Text Messages on Android. You can now send encrypted text and encrypted email on Android.