“This message will self-destruct…”. If there’s one thing every kid watching spy shows dreams of, it’s exploding messages that disappear forever. The explosion is cool, but so is the idea that you can send a message to your friend without anyone else ever being able to read it afterwards.
Burn Note gives you exactly this functionality, albeit without the exploding tape or piece of paper. Write a message and send a link to your friend. They can read the message, but not easily copy it. A certain amount of time after they open the message, it is deleted forever. You can even add a password, if you want additional security.
It’s not quite as impactful as a message that literally explodes, but it gets the job done if you want to send a message without it lasting forever in someone’s inbox.
Sending A Secret MessageHead over to BurnNote and you can start writing your message immediately. There’s no formatting or pictures: just good old-fashioned text.
As you can see, I’ve composed a deeply serious, top-secret message. I simply cannot let this fall into the wrong hands. So I head to the options.
I can set how the message will be displayed, and for how long. The message can be displayed as plain text, which can be copied, or in short phrases that cannot (easily). I can even add a password, if I’m feeling particularly paranoid.
Once I’m done, I get a link to my message. The message will be deleted in 72 hours, regardless of whether it’s opened or not.
I’m now ready to send this to one of my loyal minions. I can send the link via email, instant message or carrier pigeon.
Reading A MessageWhen my minion gets the link, they can open the message. The countdown to destruction does not start until they open it.
So far, so good. When the message is opened, it looks something like this:
Since I chose “short phrases“, it is shown a few words at a time and cannot be copied easily, outside of several precisely timed screenshots.
My minion is particularly vigilant, so they will click “BURN IT” the moment they are done reading. This way no nefarious members of the public will get a chance to read it, and they can commence the operation – meeting me for lunch downtown.
Okay, so my personal mission isn’t as secret as I let on. It’s still a cool site though, isn’t it?
ConclusionIf you need to securely send a message over the Internet never use email or IM. They simply weren’t designed to be secure forms of communication, and could easily end up in the wrong hands. That’s why I’m glad Burn Note exists. It lets me send messages over email without leaving a long-term record of the contents.
If you’re concered about the security of Burn Note itself, check out the Burn Note FAQ page. It nicely outlines when and how your messsages are deleted and is well worth a read if you want to rely on the service for serious, non-lunch related missions.
Are you looking for alternative ways to send secure notes? Linux users can try sending encrypted emails with Evolution. But if you’re not a Linux fan, you could check out these secure and encrypted email providers online. None of these solutions automatically delete the contents of your message, but they’re still worth trying out.
Do you know of other services for sending secure messages? If so, share them in the contents below. Also, please don’t tell my wife I’m referring to her as my minion now.