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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Data Encryption: Off-the-Record Chat Encryption

Provides information and instructions for encrypting a variety of data types.

OTR Encryption for Pidgin

Enable the OTR Plugin

Step 1) From the Pidgin toolbar select the Tools menu.
Step 2) From the Tools menu select the Plugins option.
Step 3) In the plugins menu locate the "Off-the-Record Messaging" plugin and click the checkbox next to it.

Configure the OTR Plugin

Step 4) With the "Off-the-Record" messaging item selected click the "Configure Plugin" button.
Step 5) With the correct account selected in the "Key for account" field click the "Generate" button.
Step 6) After your private key has been generated click the "OK" button in the Generating private key window.
Step 7) Check the box next to the "Don't log OTR conversations" option in the Off-the-Record Messaging config
Step 8) Click the "Close" button in the Off-the-Record Messaging configuration window. Also take note of your own key fingerprint displayed underneath the account selection dropdown box.
Step 9) Click the "Close" button in the Plugins window.

Enabling Encrypted Chat and Chatting

Step 10) Double click on the name of a friend in the Buddy List window who also has an OTR compliant chat client configured.
Step 11) Click the "Not private" button in the chat window which is opened with your friend.
Step 12) From the menu opened by the "Not private" button select the "Start private conversation" option. (At this point your conversation will be encrypted, however the identity of your friend has not been conclusively verified)
Step 13) Click the "Unverified" button in the chat window.
Step 14) From the menu opened by the "Unverified" button select the "Authenticate buddy" option.
Step 15) Click the scroll list under the text "How would you like to authenticate your buddy?" in the Authenticate Buddy window.
Step 16) From the options presented select "Manual fingerprint verification."
Step 17) Verify the text after "Purported fingerprint for BUDDYNAME" matches the fingerprint reported by your friend through a separate trusted medium.
Step 18) Click the drop down box below the fingerprint and change the option from "I have not" to "I have" after verifying your friends fingerprint
Step 19) Click the "Authenticate" button in the "Authenticate Buddy" window.
Step 20) Chat securely with your now authenticated friend!
Step 21) Remember to end your conversation session when you are done talking to your buddy by selected the "Private" button in the chat window and selecting the "End private conversation" option.

Created by Brian Balsamo. Used with permission.

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