Privacy: Pidgin-OTR

We use Pidgin a lot on the farm, chatting back and forth between buildings while we get our farm chores done. There is a plugin for the Pidgin chat client that can make your chats private by encrypting them so you know you are talking to who you think you’re talking to, and prevent man in the middle snooping.

Open your Software Manager and search for pidgin-otr and install it.  Once installed, it’s time to activate and set up the plugin.

First, open Pidgin and select Tools—> Plugins and scroll down to the pidgin-otr plugin.

Pidgin-OTR Setup

Pidgin-OTR Setup

Once you check the box to the left of the description to turn on the plug in, then click the bottom Configure Plugin button to set up your private encryption key and other preferences.

Key Generation

Key Generation

Note that it can take awhile to generate the encryption key on an older, slow machine!

When you first chat with another user using pidgin-otr, the system will ask you to send a question and answer to expect back and forth to authenticate each other. After that, your chats are private and secure!