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Instant Crypt: Purpose and Description


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(c) 2013 Wolfgang Schlage

Instant Crypt: Purpose and Description

1. Noboy Knows How to Do Encryption

Six or seven years ago I was in the situation that I wanted to use encrypted email, using my sophisticated encryption program, with my bank in Germany. They said they could not do it. Neither could my accountant in the USA. Or my financial advisor. They seemed not to bother or, maybe, it was too complicated for them. So I asked myself: what good is the most sophisticated encryption technology, even if you master it yourself, when none of the people with whom you want to use it have it or want to get it?

2. The Plan: Easy-to-Use, Easy-to-Install Encryption

Thus one day, I decided that I would, on a weekend or so, write a tiny, little program that I could send to all those people: a program that would reduce the skills needed to do encryption to the absolute minimum, that would install easily and would not ask for long configurations, that would teach the (few) skills needed intuitively, and that, therefore, they would actually use.

3. The Result: InstantCrypt

Well, only three or four years, many weekends, and several versions later, there it was: InstantCrypt.

Installation and versions

The installation is easy. If you do not have "administrator privileges", you can unpack the zip file.
There is even a version for a USB stick that enables you to encrypt/decrypt your email anywhere where they have a computer with a USB port.
And it is free.

Easy start

To help you start, the program opens with a Welcome page that guides you through your first steps.
There are short video demos to help you find things.
The program layout resembles an email program, so it is easy to grasp.
There is a big help file that explains the major routines. It also has some background information on encryption, in case you are interested. You probably won’t need it (who needs to read help files?) because the program is so intuitive.

4. What This Means For You

If you are an encryption professional with a high volume of confidential information to send and receive, then there are better programs for you, that, however, take a higher installation effort. There are several decent free programs based on and working with GPG (sometimes called GnuPG), a program developed by an open-source community, e.g., Enigmail for the Thunderbird e-mail client. There also are commercial solutions.

But if you are an occasional user with no intention to study a lot or tinker around a lot, then InstantCrypt is the right thing for you. And if your friends have no encryption program: now you know what to tell them.

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InstantCrypt: Secure email with OpenPGP encryption