SEND FILES THAT SELF-DESTRUCT
So they never fall into hackers’ hands
Firefox’s handy new Send tool ( send .firefox.com) makes sending large files quick and easy – you just drag them to your browser and share a link. What’s more, because the files are set to self-destruct after they’ve been downloaded, you’ll never have to worry about using up space in your cloud storage or remembering to delete old files that you’ve left online.
There’s no need to set up a Send account or download any software to use the service. Just visit send.firefox .com in any browser (not just Firefox), and drag and drop files of up to 1GB in size to upload them and generate a secure, encrypted download link. Each link remains active for up to 24 hours or until the file is downloaded, at which point the link expires automatically.
You can review all your currently live files by refreshing send.firefox.com. If you need to share more than one file and want to use a single link, you can do so by archiving the files on your computer first, provided they don’t exceed the 1GB file limit.
Firefox Send isn’t much use for sharing files with more than one recipient, but a further upside of the expiring links is that you know when your recipient has received the file. Snapmail There are plenty of services for sending self-destructing text messages from your phone, but finding an app that’ll do the same when you send an email from your computer is a little trickier. One of our favourite tools is Chrome extension Snapmail, which lets you send emails from Gmail that disappear automatically after 60 seconds. Install the extension from the Chrome Web Store ( bit.ly/ snapmail432) and when you compose a new email, simply click the Snapmail button instead of Send. The recipient receives a secure link to the message and once opened, it’ll expire within one minute. The extension will only encrypt text, so if you want to send images or other attachments, then you’re better off using Firefox Send.
Telegram If you need to share passwords or other private information with loved ones, then Telegram’s ( telegram.org) Secret Chat gives you the confidence that this information won’t end up in the wrong hands. Secret Chat not only offers end-to-end encryption, but also blocks forwarding of content and lets you set your messages, photos, videos and other files to self-destruct a specified amount of time after they’ve been read or opened.
To start a new Secret Chat on an Android device, open Telegram’s main menu and select New Secret Chat. On IOS, tap the icon in the top-right corner in Messages, then choose New Secret Chat. Next, choose the recipient and set the self-destruct timer by tapping the clock icon (in the top bar on Android and in the input field on IOS), then choosing the desired time limit. Now, when you send a message or file, it’ll disappear according to this timer.
It’s worth noting that a Secret Chat is device-specific, so if you start one on your Android phone, it’ll only be visible there, not on your other devices. Any messages you send before setting the selfdestruct timer will remain visible to the recipient unless you manually delete them. To do this, long-press the individual message (not the chat) and choose Delete. Photos sent with an expiry time of less than a minute are not available to download and screenshots are also blocked.
Telegram is undoubtedly one of the most secure options for sending self-destructing messages on your phone or tablet, but if you also want the option to protect a specific Secret Chat with a PIN code, try Viber ( www.viber .com) for Android or IOS. Facebook Messenger If you want to send end-to-end encrypted, self-destructing messages, you don’t even have to download a dedicated messaging app (such as Telegram) because both these features are now supported by Facebook Messenger. To open a ‘ Secret Conversation’ in Messenger for Android, open a normal conversation with the person you want to share private information with, then tap the info button and choose ‘Go to Secret Conversation’. Like Telegram, Messenger lets you send messages, photos and videos in Secret Conversations, but there’s no support for other files.
To set the self-destruct timer, tap the stopwatch in the text-input field and choose the time when you want messages to disappear. Before typing your message, you’ll see the text-input field clearly marked with ‘disappearing message’. Unlike Telegram, there’s no option to manually delete messages from the recipient’s device that you didn’t set to self-destruct, and recipients can still use screenshots to capture your self-destructing content. imessage Apple imessage’s ‘ Invisible Ink’ feature lets you make messages invisible until the recipient chooses to reveal them, but there’s no option to set them to self-destruct, which means it only offers added fun and not security. However, it is possible to create self-destructing messages in imessage by installing the third-party app Confide ( getconfide .com/download). Tap the Apps icon in imessage, then tap the Additional Apps option before tapping the ‘+ Store’ icon. Once you’re in the store, tap the search icon to search for Confide, then install it.
To send a self-destructing message with Confide, tap the Apps icon again, then swipe right until you see Confide. Select Get Started and you can then choose whether you want to send a self-destructing message or photo. After entering your message, tap Continue, then the Send button in imessage. The message appears as an imessage attachment on the recipient’s device, unless they don’t have Confide installed, in which case they’ll see a link they can tap to install it. Swiping your finger across a message reveals it and you can only view each message once, after which it automatically self-destructs.
If you find the process of sending Confide messages in imessage a little clunky, you can just use the Confide app directly, providing your recipient has it, too. It’s also available for Windows, MACOS and Android using the same link.
Send emails that disappear after 60 seconds with Snapmail
Firefox Send lets you send download links that expire as soon as they’re used
Install Confide to send self- destructing messages in imessage
Use Facebook’s Secret Conversations to send encrypted, self- destructing messages
Telegram’s Secret Chats can’t be captured using screenshots