If you need top-notch, end-to-end encryption, try ChatCrypt, and use a 100+ character password generator. Realistically, however, a password containing 40 characters symbols, numbers, and both upper and lowercase letters is enough to fully populate AES-256 key space.
Most “secure chats” use SSL/TLS (https), which only encrypts messages between the user and the server. They’re decrypted on the server where anyone can see them. Plus, you’re always fighting for chat rooms, and may have to pay for services.
ChatCrypt’s approach is radically different. First, it uses AES-256, the gold standard for encryption. It’s open-source, so anyone can confirm the authenticity of its algorithm. Second, two or more users are creating their own virtual private chat room. Third, the encrypted text is stored, forwarded, then erased upon confirmed receipt. Unlike most chat rooms, which store their users’ decrypted “secure” messages for days, weeks, months, or even years, ChatCrypt can’t decrypt the messages at all. They’re only decrypted by the intended receiver. Furthermore, because they’re erased on confirmed receipt by the users, they’re never on the server for more than ten seconds. Even then, they always remain encrypted using AES-256.
AES-256 meets U.S. FIPS PUB 197 (FIPS 197), first published on November 26, 2001. The purpose of FIPS is to ensure that all federal government and agencies adhere to the same guidelines regarding security and communication. AES is the first publicly accessible and open cipher approved by the National Security Agency (NSA) for top secret information when used in an NSA approved cryptographic module.
AES proved itself so worthwhile that both Intel and AMD supports the algorithm in their processors. On Intel Core i3/i5/i7 and AMD APU and FX CPUs supporting AES-NI instruction set extensions, throughput can be over 700 MB/s per thread. This was done primarily in support of on-the-fly data encryption programs designed to secure corporate or personal data against loss, theft, or espionage.
If you want the same AES-256 ability to encrypt files, both for use on your own hard drive, or for sending through e-mail, check out Cypherix’s Cryptainer. Cryptainer LE is free and supports volumes up to 100 MB. Larger volume sizes, up to 1 TB, are available, along with multiple license pricing. With over 7 million users world-wide, it’s a proven and robust approach to security.