When people think about sending “sensitive” information, they usually associate it with one of two things: work stuff or inappropriate pictures. With that being said, there are a bunch of reasons you might want to share sensitive information over the web.
We are going to talk about a few ways to do just that, but let you decide what the “sensitive information” actually is.
Sending important information to the wrong person can be a big problem so the first thing you will want to do is make sure you have the correct contact information. No matter how you plan to send someone information, make sure you have the correct email address or phone number for them.
Not putting all of your eggs in one basket
Not many people consider breaking up messages or sending them through different services. For example, you can share a file or folder with someone via Dropbox with an encrypted zip file in it and text them the password key. If you send everything, including the password, in a single file, what’s the point in password protecting it?
Depending on what exactly you are sending, you might want to consider using a secure browser — a browser like Dell KACE based on Firefox or one that’s more geared toward privacy like SRWare based on Chromium. These can help you be a bit more at ease when you are browsing or logging into your accounts.
Lastpass is a browser add-on that can share passwords and secure notes with other Lastpass users easily. This is a great way for you to send bank information or other things like Social Security numbers. Remember the common sense rule: you need to make sure you have the right user information before you start sending info to some random person.
Dropbox users have some choices. You can share a folder, letting you add any kind of information to the folder for the other person to receive. Another option: if the person is not a Dropbox user, you can send them a link to the folder or file. This way they can view or download it right from the web vs. you sending the file via email.
To add a little more security when sending a file, you can send it as an encrypted zip file.Then if someone intercepts your email, they will need the password key to open it. If you send the password separately, someone is less likely to know what the password is or what it is for. A great app for making a secure compressed folder is 7zip. You could also add the encrypted zip file to your Dropbox shared folder for a little added security.
When you want to email something but need it to be secure, you can try Sendinc. Using this web-based service will not only let you send secure emails, but you can have the message self destruct Mission-Impossible-style anywhere from 1 day to 365 days later.
Another cool way to send files securely is to use something like File Camouflage. In a nutshell, you can use File Camouflage to hide and encrypt a file within an image. If someone accidentally sees the email, unless they know there is a message in it, they will think it is nothing more than an image.
Sharing information while mobile is a lot trickier. Some of the apps out there like Lastpass remove the sharing feature from their mobile app. Apps like Snapchat are available and the image can be deleted after a certain amount of time, but the image can still be easily intercepted or copied with a screen capture.
There is always the chance something you send electronically can get intercepted by someone other than the intended receiver. It is best to break up the messages, send the password separately, encrypt what you can whenever you can, and do your best to only send people images of what you aren’t afraid to have your grandma come across in the internet.Featured photo credit: Razor Wire via Shutterstock