One of the biggest problems with the Internet is that just about everything you post, email, or publish is saved for posterity– whether or not you want it saved—and it is largely impossible to remove all traces of it. Additionally, if you need to communicate sensitive information, such as a password or an account number or a limited time customer-specific price discount, there just isn’t a way to do it that doesn’t leave a permanent record… until now.
A new free service, One Time Secret, brings Mission Impossible technology to the web. Remember those mission assignment tapes that self-destructed after Mr. Phelps played them? One Time Secret does the same with message URLs. You simply go to their website, enter a short message, and securely submit it. The system generates a one-time use URL that you copy and email to the person for whom the message is intended. After one use, the URL is rendered inactive and the message text is destroyed.
What if someone intercepts the email with the link? To prevent unauthorized viewing of the URL, you can attach a passphrase to it (communicated to the recipient in a separate online or offline message) so that only an authorized person can access it. You can even set an unviewed URL to self-destruct in 1 hour, 4 hours, 12 hours, 1 day or 2 days (the default for all messages). For even more protection, the service takes steps to block all search engine crawlers (even the malicious ones that don’t follow the rules), so that your message is not inadvertently saved.
So, the next time you need to communicate secure information to a customer, or the next time you want to send an email message you don’t want archived, give One Time Secret a try.