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Flash, This Just In!

Flash, This Just In
by Gary Woods

I hope this doesn't catch you unaware, but EMAIL IS'NT SECURE. If you send someone an email message there are any numbers of people who can view it along the way and then there's the fact that it can just sit in someone's inbox where all sorts of folks can stare at it.

For years I've made it a rule to never write anything in an email that I wouldn't be happy to see on the front page of the paper in the morning but there are definitely times when I'd like to send some sensitive piece of information to someone.

Okay, so short of setting up a Virtual Private Network what are your options? One possibility is a free service called One Share, When you go to that website there's a link that says "Create One Now." When you click on that link you then type or paste the information you want to share into the box. You can set the message to "self-destruct" which means that it would delete itself automatically if the recipient hasn't viewed it within a designated about amount of time which can be anywhere from 30 minutes to 3 days.

After that you click "Create Link" you then copy and paste that link into an ordinary email message. When the recipient clicks on that link that person gains access to the private message and by clicking that link the message then self-destructs. is a free service and relies on SSL (Secure Socket Layer) for encryption to protect the data sent between your browser and its service and the stored data remains encrypted.

This is definitely not a complete comprehensive solution but it is a whole lot better than just sending your sensitive data via a regular email, a text message or FAX. There's also a 99 cent app for iOS and Android which allows you to create self-destructing messages on the run. So if you need to send something that you really don't want the world to know about check it out.

If you have any suggestions or questions for me please drop me a note at or see my column on the Internet at or call me at (805) 729-0910

Gary Woods is the Computer Trainer for the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors. And he is a Broker/Associate at Home Realty & Investments, Inc