Security Corner

Sep 29 2012   12:38AM GMT

Send private data securely

Ken Harthun Ken Harthun Profile: Ken Harthun

In my job as a Network Administrator, I’m constantly called upon to reset passwords to email, network shares and sensitive corporate resources. Up to now, it has been my standard procedure to transmit passwords and other login information only by phone, but this is tedious and time-consuming and often becomes downright onerous as a rousing game of phone tag ensues. I found a better way, though, one that anyone can use to send any kind of sensitive information to anyone without fear of disclosure to the darker denizens of the interwebs.

What if you could compose a message, “Mission Impossible” style that would self-destruct after being accessed? Here are three different, free, web-based applications that allow you to create self-destructing messages.

Privnote – https://privnote.com – “Just write your note, and you’ll get a link. Then you copy and paste that link into an email (or instant message) that you send to the person who you want to read the note. When that person clicks the link for the first time, they will see the note in their browser and the note will automatically self-destruct; which means no one (even that very same person) can read the note again. The link won’t work anymore.” Privnote allows you to add a reference ID and choose to be notified when your note is read – a nice feature.

Burn Note – https://burnnote.com – “Each Burn Note can be viewed only once and then it is deleted. Deleted Burn Notes are completely erased from the Burn Note servers so it impossible for anyone to retrieve them.”

OneShare.es – https://oneshar.es – This is the simplest one of the three. You type your message, specify how long it lives before self destructing if it goes un-viewed and create the link. Similar to the other apps, the link can only be accessed one time before it dies. This is the one I have been testing in my job and I haven’t had anyone complain about it so far.

If I had a lot messages to send, I think I would prefer Privnote so I could keep track of them. Burn Note has some extra features that do a bit more than I need, but if I wanted to be really secretive about something, that would be the one I would use. OneShare.es is just right and the one that I plan to continue to use day to day.

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