Privacy has always been a long-standing issue when it comes to anything related to communication over the internet. Instant messaging, or im, is one of the most widely used modes of communication; it also happens to have one of the flimsiest privacy or confidentiality settings. The developers of the SJ im app for Android aims to make messaging on mobile devices safer, thereby offering more protection to users.
SJ im, which stands for “Safety Jabber instant messaging”, is an Android app that is essentially a jabber client mainly for mobile phones and tablets. Its integrated automatic encryption algorithms are based on Open PGP while offers full support of the Off-the-Record Messaging (OTR) protocol. Its core features include support for Google Talk and other services on any XMPP server (such as Jabber and Facebook), and automatic PGP encryption between SJ im messengers. It also enables file sending on safetyjabber.com and sendspace.com in archives that have password protection.
The new and reworked design of the SJ im app renders it more usable and easy to navigate. Those who are familiar with the desktop version will not have a hard time using this app for the first time, since the only difference lies in the latter being more designed for touchscreen operation. Once the app is started, you may opt to let it generate a key pair for your own encryption algorithm. If you have a key pair in mind, you also have the option to manually do so and import it into the program.
In order to send files safely, you will have to archive the file you want to end with a 32-symbol password. It takes only one click to send the file to your choice of a filehost, which is either safetyjabber.com or sendspace.com. Even chatting becomes safer. All you have to do is to start an OTR chat session with the other party, or let each other know your respective public PGP keys, if that is what you are both using.
Anything that gives users more privacy and protection when communicating over instant messengers or social networks is definitely welcome. SJ im is, without a doubt, a highly useful app that we can tell is going to last for a very long time. The benefits provided by SJ im extends beyond its user-friendly design and interface. Aside from message encryption, it also enables chat history encryption, ensuring that no one can gain access to your chat history, unless they have your PGP key pair.
Sending of password-protected files is also another very good feature of SJ im. Now, users can feel more at ease exchanging sensitive information over IM. The easy “one click to send” function is also greatly appreciated, cutting through a lot of time and shortening the duration it usually takes to send a single file. This paid also allows history browsing, and makes it even easier by letting users filter by contacts, dates, and other parameters.
SJ im’s file sending feature makes use of only two filehosting services. It would have been better if it will also allow the use of file hosts other than safetyjabber.com and sendspace.com. Maybe it is one of the updates that the developers ought to consider in the future. There are some apps that you can easily ignore because they really won’t benefit you at all. There are other apps, however, just like SJ im that you can only describe as priceless, considering how they will make your internet communications – and your life – easier and much safer.