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Encryption in Nimbus Note for iPhone - Quick Guide

Last Updated: Jan 18, 2019 12:06PM EST
What's note encryption for?

Encryption means scrambling the data in a file so others cannot read or understand it. This makes your data much more secure than it would be with simple password protection. In Nimbus Note, encryption is achieved using algorithms that have a special encryption key (or set of keys). Each encryption key has its own password. To decrypt, you need a key + password combination. You can use a single key (and therefore one password) for all notes, or for additional security you can encrypt each note with a separate key.

Important! In Nimbus Note, your encryption password is not stored on the server, inside the app, or anywhere else. You are the only one that knows it. This means no one can gain access to your encrypted notes unless you give them the password. It also means that if you forget your password, there is no way to regain access to those notes. It's important to point out that in Nimbus Note, both notes and file attachments are encrypted.

What type of encryption does Nimbus use?

Nimbus generates RSA_PKCS1 standard certificates for users. The certificates are encrypted with an AES-256 algorithm based on the password hash. Session keys are generated for each file, each 256 bits long, by the RSA encryption algorithm. The files are encrypted using session keys and the AES-256 algorithm with CBC. The SHA256 algorithm is used for hashing.

How to encrypt a note?

Special encryption keys  are used for data encryption in Nimbus Note. Each key is unique and has a name, a password and a password hint. Important! Passwords for keys are NOT stored on the server. If you forget your password, it will be impossible to restore your encrypted notes!

You can use a single key (and therefore one password) for all notes, or you can encrypt each note with a separate key. You decide which way to do it.

So let's begin!

1) Open the note menu and select Encrypt this note.

2) If you are using encryption for the first time, you will be asked to create a new encryption key. You’ll need to enter the following information:

- Key name. Choose a name that will help you identify this key.
- Encryption password. This should be strong enough that it’s not easy for someone else to guess, but it has to be something you will remember, because if it’s lost or forgotten, there is no way to restore access to the note.
- Password hint. If you wish, you may enter a phrase or other information that will help you remember the password. This is optional.

3) Once you have filled in the information, press Encrypt and the note will be encrypted. Then it will be uploaded to the server again, this time in its encrypted form. It's important to wait for the synchronization to complete in order to make sure your notes are saved to the server encrypted.

Important! Encrypted notes will not be available for full-text search!

How do I open an encrypted note?

Tapping on an encrypted note will open a window asking you to enter your encryption password. In this same window, you can set an expiration time for your password. If you leave the default settings, you will be asked for the password every time you need to open the note. However, you can also change settings so you are not asked for the password again during your current session or for a specified length of time, such as the next 12 hours.

Important! These settings will be applied to all encrypted notes.

Can I disable encryption for a note?

Certainly. To remove encryption from a note, open the note and select Disable encryption. Then enter the password and the encoding will be disabled.

Can I create a new encryption key?

Yes, you can. When encrypting your note, tap on the arrow next to the key name.

Then tap on Create a new key to create a new one.

Can I select existing keys to encode notes?

Yes, you can. When encrypting a note, tap on the arrow next to the key name.

Then select the required key from the list.


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