The Basketmaker

Baskets! Fine new baskets!

You send your crop to the King? Send more! A present to your sweetheart, a giftcard to your friends! How you would do that? With a basket of course!

My friend, I have just the right basket for you! Scroll down and click on a basket from my merchandise!

The Basketmaker

Baskets! Fine new baskets!

You send your crop to the King? Send more! A present to your sweetheart, a giftcard to your friends! How you would do that? With a basket of course!

My friend, I have just the right basket for you! Scroll down and click on a basket from my merchandise!

Encrypted and unencrypted messaging is like sending sealed envelopes or postcards. Unencrypted email messages are in plain text and can possibly be read by snooping third parties. Whether we send sensitive content or not, strangers should never be able to just access our messages. Encrypted Messages remain unreadable to everyone who doesn’t have the necessary decryption key.

One method to encrypt and secure our email communication is PGP – Pretty Good Privacy. With the right software we can generate a digital pair of keys, a private and a public key. The private key is our very own secret password, we keep it to ourselves. The public key is easier to imagine as a padlock. If we send a PGP-encrypted message we use our padlock, lock it up by typing in our private key and mail it. The public key is not secret, we can share it with others, for example via an open Public Key Server – it’s like a phone book that contains all the public keys. The recipient of the mail we sent uses her/his secret Private Key to unlock the padlock we used and can then read the message. In case a third party would try to unlock our mail but doesn’t have the right key to our padlock the message would be unreadable and our privacy successfully protected.

If mobile messaging apps or email services – products by big online companies like Google’s Gmail or Facebook’s Whatsapp dominate the market with billion-plus users. Some offer end-to-end encryption to secure our messages, but not as a default setting – on Facebook Messenger we would first have to go through the security settings to activate its „Secret Conversations“ option. Advertising end-to-end encryption but not adding that it isn’t a default setting could mislead users into believing their conversations are secure. The mobile messenger Whatsapp uses the secure Open Whisper Systems’ encryption protocol, but Facebook changed and slightly weakened the code to increase convenience. Most security experts don’t see this alteration as a threat to the privacy of the majority of people. But still it’s worth considering to use an independent, open-source alternative to Whatsapp – one that doesn’t belong to a big online company and social network. For a free mobile messenger with uncompromised end-to-end encryption we prefer to use Signal – also recommended by Edward Snowden.

Most Encryption methods protect our messages while they travel from A to B. We write a mail, lock it with our Private Key and send it. Unless somebody steals our Key the content remains locked up safely until the recipients open the message. But every encryption method is only as safe as the users’ mailboxes. Our computers can be hacked and the content of our messages accessed with malware at the communication endpoints. Sometimes the encryption is also bypassed via backdoors in the software we use, what Edward Snowden proved to be true for Skype.

Switch to safe messaging!

Secure your email communication by downloading GPG Suite for macOS or Enigmail for Windows, free software for encrypting your emails.

Secure your mobile communication by downloading Signal, an open source messenger app with true end-to-end encryption.