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The line ‘free crypto browser extension for Firefox’ contains six of my favorite words within its seven-word construction, which is not bad going. In case you were wondering, for is the word that doesn’t float my boat, although others such as complexity, ‘key management’ and PGP which usually rub me up the wrong way when talking about client side encryption are noticeably absent. That is because Freenigma has no place for them in its lexicon.

Simply put, it is a free extension offering encryption for your webmail account when accessed via the Firefox browser and which works with Gmail, Hotmail and Yahoo as well as some lesser-known services.

The less simplistic description would probably add that it is an OpenPGP standard supporting, GNU Privacy Guard implementing system that uses a JavaScript based user script to integrate Freenigma functionality with the desired webmail client, while leaving key management (did I really just say that) to the Freenigma server itself.

There are some limitations, such as the fact that it is only free because it is in Beta and there are absolutely no guarantees that it will remain that way once the Beta expires. In addition, the encryption only covers the mail content and not the webmail from/to headers, or attachments for that matter. Moreover, do not expect Gmail contextual advertising to be, well, very contextual when displayed alongside random text.

It is early days for sure, but if you want simplicity with your webmail security then you cannot really go wrong. The day that the end user did not need to know how to generate a keyring with public and private keys, or choose an encryption algorithm, worry about key length, understand the difference between symmetric and asymmetric encryption or tell RSA and AES apart is long overdue.

The German coders, part of the freiheit.com programming team behind Freenigma, can be found dumping their minds in the best possible way within the superbly named hackers with attitude blog where you can also find out more about Freenigma, funnily enough.

As Editorial Director and Managing Analyst with IT Security Thing I am putting more than two decades of consulting experience into providing opinionated insight regarding the security threat landscape for IT security professionals. As an Editorial Fellow with Dennis Publishing, I bring more than two decades of writing experience across the technology industry into publications such as Alphr, IT Pro and (in good old fashioned print) PC Pro. I also write for SC Magazine UK and Infosecurity, as well as The Times and Sunday Times newspapers. Along the way I have been honoured with a Technology Journalist of the Year award, and three Information Security Journalist of the Year awards. Most humbling, though, was the Enigma Award for 'lifetime contribution to IT security journalism' bestowed on me in 2011.

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Last Post by LastMitch
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Simply put, it is a free extension offering encryption for your webmail account when accessed via the Firefox browser and which works with Gmail, Hotmail and Yahoo as well as some lesser-known services.

I used FireFox for years and I don't used extensions.

But it is good to know that someone create a extension for Firefox.

Which I was a bit surprise.

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