If you enjoyed making up your own language as a kid and using it in front of your parents to make them think you were up to something, and for some reason, haven’t outgrown this fascination, it might appeal to you to code the messages you send. Whether this, or because your life’s circumstances are such that you would like to add an extra layer of security to your communication. TXTcrypt is a free Mac app that lets you do just that. It can both encrypt and decrypt text. The encryption requires a passkey, which may be up to 8 characters long. The app does not encrypt on the AES standard; instead, it uses the RC4 standard, which, while not as secure as AES, nevertheless provides a reasonable level of protection.
The app’s interface is simple and not the kind that you’ll fall in love with. The major part of the app’s window comprises of a text input box where you paste the text to be encrypted or decrypted. A small password field follows, with blocks that correspond to each character you enter. You can set a password up to 8 characters long. It’s best to use as many characters as the app allows, because the longer the encryption key, the harder it is to crack. Encrypt and Decrypt buttons allow you to choose what action you want to perform on the text.
If you’re wondering how something like this could possibly be of any use, think of a situation where you might have to share personal information like a phone number or home address in a public forum. You can encrypt it, and only the intended recipient will be able to read it after decryption. Even if you aren’t up to something super sneaky like training a rat army, it might be useful if you want to hide messages from family members who you are sharing your Mac with.