Do you suspect that someone is monitoring your computer, emails or chat logs? Perhaps even your mobile text messages as well? When you send emails they are stored on servers and in backups and are prone to interceptions while being sent. If you have a secret or private message that you need to send to someone very often, how are you going to do that without installing any complicated PGP encryption software?
Here’s an interesting idea. How about using a free web service that doesn’t even require registration to help you keep your messages secure from outsiders reading your messages?
If that sounds quite reasonable, then you might like to have a look at Lockbin. It is a free service for sending private encrypted email messages.
To send secure messages, you need to go through 5 steps.
1. Enter your name and email address.
2. Enter the email of the person you want to send to.
3. Type in the secret password and confirmation. This is for the recipient to decode the secure message.
4. Give the message a subject.
5. Create the message using the editor, a file can be attached using the Upload button.
6. Enter the Captcha, tick the Terms box and the choose the confirm received email if needed.
The encrypted secure message will NOT be sent to the recipient email address. Your friend will only get a notification saying that you’ve received a secure message which will need a special “Secret Word” to decode the message. Your friend will need to visit a link provided in the email they receive.
To decode and read secure messages, there are 4 steps.
1. Agree to usage agreement.
2. Enter security code.
3. Enter Secret Password.
4. Messages is decrypted if the correct secret password is entered.
Lockbin’s cryptographic algorithm uses a Secret Word to encrypt messages in AES-256 bit encryption. You then send the Secret Password to the recipient using another method such as phone, text message, instant message, letter etc. Only use another email to send the password as an absolute last resort, this is what you were trying to avoid in the first place…
When the encrypted message is received, it is destroyed from Lockbin’s database, and decrypted in the recipient’s browser, provided that they entered the Secret Word correctly. If the recipient clicks to delete the email it is destroyed right away, if they don’t click to delete, it will be removed after 24 hours. I tried to retrieve the same message again, it says “An error occured – Try again“. Mails that don’t get read will be deleted after 6 months.
If you can see yourself using Lockbin regularly, there is a cross platform desktop application available which is built on Java (so you will need the Java Runtime installed), and also a mobile version page is accessible on the website. The basic service is free, but to send multiple attachments, send to more than one recipient, and to remove the captcha or ads from the email, a premium account will be needed.
The Lockbin Desktop Application on Wndows 7
How secure is this Lockbin’s secure message? It uses SSL, so the HTTP traffic is encrypted. If someone has your email password, they can’t view the secure message because they don’t have the secret word. Screenshot loggers might be able to capture the secure message but it is seldom being used because constant capturing of screenshots takes up a lot of disk space. Lockbin is not perfect but it’s definitely useful.