Noteshred is a free online service to send confidential information securely over the Internet, using secure notes that are encrypted and can be set to self-destruct after a specified time. Noteshred also intimates you when your notes have been read and destroyed via Email notifications. Best of all, the recipient doesn’t need to have an account with Noteshred to view the encrypted notes. Sounds pretty cool, doesn’t it? Keep reading to find out more!
During our day to day online communications, we send and receive a lot of digital information. From random chain mails and selfies to confidential and personal data, every single bit of information has to traverse through the massive Internet. Even though social networks like Facebook and twitter are now the medium for sharing information, Email still remains the medium of choice when it comes to sending private information. Email is good, and it works well. And it’s secure, for the most part. But how do you know that the information is accessed by only the person that it’s meant for? Especially after all the revelations made by Snowden. There’s not a concrete method to do that, right?
Turns out, there’s a little online service that can help you in making sure that the secure information that you share online remains that way. Say hello .. to Noteshred.
Noteshred: Great online service to send Encrypted and Self Destructing notes
As the title pretty much gives it away, Noteshred is an amazing freeware online service that lets you send secure and encrypted notes, that self destruct after being read (no, they don’t blow up! seriously?). The notes are encrypted using the advanced AES-256 encryption standard, and the unique encryption keys are generated using the password you supply. Apart from regular notes, you can also include attachments up to 5MB in size, which of course are also encrypted. Let’s find out more about this great free service!
Also check out some other self destructing notes websites we reviewed earlier.
Noteshred: Signing up for a free account and Web UI
Signing up for a free account with Noteshred is a pretty routine process. You just have to provide a valid email address and password. Once you sign up, the service sends you an activation email at the email address you provide. All you have to do is click on the link in the activation email, and your account is validated. Here’s how the sign up screen looks like:
Like I said, pretty standard stuff! Once your account is validated, you can use your credentials to log in to your account. You’re then directed to your account, which is where all the cool stuff happens. Here’s how the Web UI of Noteshred looks like:
As illustrated by the above screenshot, the Web UI is pretty straightforward. All of the major options are accessed via the left pane, whereas the bigger right pane for the most part just consists of information about Noteshred itself.
How to create a Secure note in Noteshred
Creating and sending secure and encrypted notes is the primary highlight feature of Noteshred. And I’m sure you all must be getting excited about how this thing works. So let’s get to it:
Step 1: From the left pane, click New Note.
Step 2: Once you do that, the UI changes to the New Note creation interface. This is how it looks:
As illustrated by the above screenshot, the New Note creation interface consists of a couple of options. They are briefly mentioned below:
- Recipient Email Address: The email address(es) of the recipient(s) of your secure note go here.
- Title: Give your secure note any descriptive title here.
- Password: Obviously the most important field. Choose a password for your secure note. This is the password that your note’s recipient(s) must enter in order to view the encrypted note. This password is also used to generate the encryption key used to encrypt your note. Passwords must be minimum 8 characters long.
- When to Shred: Specify when your note will be shredded, i.e., destroyed beyond recovery. You can choose from two options: Either you can choose to have the note shredded immediately after it is read, or you can specify a duration in days, hours or weeks (each ranging from 1 to 24) after the current system time, past which your note will be shredded .
- File Attachment: You can choose to send an attachment up to 5MB in size to be sent with your secure note. This is also encrypted.
- Client Side Encryption: This is an interesting feature. Normally, your notes are encrypted on Noteshred’s servers, using the encrypting key generated by the password you provide. But if you are the extra paranoid type, you can enable Client Side Encryption. Using this, you can encrypt the note on your end using a randomly generated unique private key. Note that this key would be required by the recipients to decrypt the contents of the note once they receive it.
- Note Content: This is where you type the contents of your secure note.
Step 3: Finally, when you’ve entered all of the above details, hit the big Create Note button. Once you do that, Noteshred takes a while to encrypt your note’s content and attachment using the password you’ve provided, and displays the following summary screen when done:
As you might’ve noticed, the above summary screen has a couple of details and other stuff on it. Here’s what they are:
- Send This Note To Someone: You can use this option to send the encrypted note to other people as well. This can be especially helpful if you forget to include the email of a recipient during the note creation stage.
- View Public Page: This is a great feature. Although the contents of the secure note are only for the recipients whose email you specify, but you can also let people view it publicly by giving them the URL to your note’s public page (This again, is helpful if you forget to include a recipient’s email during the note creation step). But this is just the public link. Anyone who accesses this link will obviously still be required to enter the password to access it. Here’s how the public page note access screen looks like:
Pretty cool, don’t you think? As illustrated by the screenshot, if a recipient enters incorrect password 5 times in a row, he/she will be locked from trying again for 5 minutes. This is a really handy security feature, in my opinion.
Noteshred sends you Email notifications when any activity occurs with your note(s)
One of the coolest features of Noteshred is that it sends you instant email notifications when there is any activity on your note(s). For example, every time you create a secure note, send a note, and every time your note is read, or shredded, Noteshred sends you a notification email. It even sends you the detailed IP address of the computer that was used to access the note before it was shredded. This is an insanely good security feature, as you can instantly know via the IP address whether your secure note was accessed at the place where it was meant to be accessed or not. Check out the following screenshot:
Noteshred is an amazing freeware online service that lets you send and receive confidential information securely. With features like instant email notifications about any note activity, AES 256 encryption, optional client side encryption and detailed access logs in notification emails, it’s hard to believe that Noteshred is a free service. To me, this thing is a winner. If you’re looking for a robust and secure way of sending confidential information online, give Noteshred a try. You won’t be disappointed.
Image Courtesy: marsmett tallahassee via Flickr.