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🔒 Encryption and storage made easy with Keybase

Ryan Collins
Just a geek developing through life.
Originally published at gozgeek.com on ・2 min read

Are you looking for a way to securely store and share information? Then check out Keybase!

What is Keybase?

Keybase is a messaging client with encryption, along with encrypted storage and encrypted sharing. By using public key cryptography, all data is secured and can’t be read by anyone, include Keybase themselves. Data in this context means your 1:1 chats, group chats, files, etc. are securely stored.

The Keybase website also lets you encrypt information for Keybase users, allowing someone to send me information that only I can read.

The final feature is identification. By leveraging the services you already use, you verify with Keybase who you are. You can check that out by visiting my Keybase page and clicking on the various sites and services that I have verified with my account.

Clients

There are clients for every Linux, Windows, and macOS, plus you can use it at the command line under Linux.

Chat

Your chats are encrypted and viewable only by the other person (or persons) in the chat.

Storage

Keybase offers 250GB of storage, along with encrypted git access which you can use to host encrypted git repositories. Folders in the storage can be shared with individuals, and are encrypted.

Another nice feature of the storage is that your public folder is also available on the web. This makes it really easy to share files with others, they don’t need any account to download the file. If they have a Keybase account, you can share it encrypted, so only they can use the file.

Crypto tools

With Keybase you have the ability to encrypt, decrypt, sign, and verify messages. This works from their website, so the person sending you information doesn’t need a Keybase account. They can visit the encrypt page on the web and search for your account. Once they find it, they can enter their message and click Encrypt. Now the message will be encrypted with PGP and they can email you the plaintext message. Only you will be able to decrypt the message.

I use this all the time when I need someone to send me information securely. The person only needs to know how to fill out a pretty generic web form.

Teams

Sure, you can use Slack or Discord to converse with your team, but if you want to do it securely, you’ll want to check out Keybase. Your team allows you to securely share information.

Git

Keybase also supports the storage of encrypted repos. This uses a built in feature of git, so you can continue to use your favorite tools. The url changes to a keybase: url instead of ssh: or https://. It is normal git, nothing fancy like issue tracking or wikis.

Getting started

Head on over the the Keybase website to sign up. One concern you may have is that Keybase was purchased by Zoom back in May 2020. The math is solid, so I’m not too worried, but it is something to be aware of.

There are a ton of other features, but this is enough to get you started.

Discussion (2)

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killshot13 profile image
Michael R.

I've had Keybase for awhile but not much opportunity to use it lately. Glad to see others out there still find it worthwhile. Feel free to add me as a contact if you so desire. :)

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mrrcollins profile image
Ryan Collins Author

Added, lol!

I forget about it too, I have a couple of people in it, but we usually only use it when we need to share sensitive information.