Sending coded messages can come handy either for fun or out of necessity. The common way to share a message publicly while ensuring that only a few people in that public forum/group can view it is to use services that encrypt them and require decryption on the other side. Services like this have a drawback; they leave it to you to share the password/decryption key with your intended audience. Scrambls is a browser extension that works with a service at the back end and lets you easily scramble your message across any public or private online medium including social media services, forums, blogs, comments and the like. You can create groups using email addresses of your intended recipients, allowing them alone to unscramble the message. In order to unscramble the text, the recipients will have to install the Scrambls extension and sign up for a free account with the service.
Once installed and logged in, the extension automatically detects if you have permission to view a message that’s been scrambled by another user. The extension has two modes: automatic and manual. The automatic mode will scramble all messages you send, while the manual mode will require you to enclose your message between @@ signs to scramble it.
Once installed, sign up to use Scrambls (you can use your Facebook or Twitter account if you like) and start scrambling your message. If you don’t create any groups, you will have only two visibility options: ‘everyone’ or ‘only me’. After adding groups, you will be able to restrict your message to those groups.
To create a group, head over to Scrambls’ web interface, log in and click ‘Create Group’ to add a new group. Name it, add a description and enter email addresses for whoever you want to include in the group. Save the group and then head over to a public forum or your Facebook wall to post a message.
Select an audience for your message from the extension button and choose the mode you want it to always work in. The ‘Scrambl marked text’ mode will scrambl text that you write between @@ signs, for example @@this is a test@@ will be scrambled. If you select ‘Scramble all text’, anything you write in an input field will be scrambled.
The text will always appear unscrambled to you (provided you are logged in to the extension) and will unscramble automatically on a recipient’s side if they’re allowed to view it and have the extension installed.
The great thing about Scrambls is that you can change the recipient and viewing option for a message at any time. Provided your recipients are willing to install the extension and sign up with the service, Scrambls gives you one of the easiest ways to mange sending coded messages through a public forum.
Scrmbls isn’t the same as encryption; it uses a custom algorithm to code your message and while it is secure as far as the average user is concerned, it isn’t AES-standard encryption. This means that sharing your social security or credit card number online via Scrambls isn’t a good idea (in truth, sharing that kind of information publicly is never a good idea no matter how you protect it). For average coding and secrecy needs, Scrambls is a pretty easy-to-use option. The Chrome extension can be found at the Web Store link below, and you can install the Scrambls add-on for Firefox and extensions for Safari and Internet Explorer from the service’s website.