E-mail has traditionally been relatively vulnerable. Messages are frequently sent in unencrypted format, which can be fairly easily “sniffed,” or read by an unauthorized party. In addition, copies of messages can linger on servers and other computers for extended periods of time.
But e-mail encryption has been slow to catch on, because it is viewed as burdensome. Often, it involves downloading and installing software.
Send is an example of a newer solution that can be accessed and used entirely online. Users can visit Send’s Web site and go through a relatively simple account setup process. It involves entering an e-mail address and receiving a message with an account setup code. An account can then be created by entering a user name and choosing a password. Send can work from any Web-enabled browser.
The solution protects messages in transit with 256-bit Secure Sockets Layer encryption, the same type used in many online banking transactions. Messages also self-destruct within seven days, although with the solution’s new paid version, users can choose to alter this timeframe or keep their messages indefinitely. Messages are stored only briefly on Send’s servers, just long enough for them to be downloaded by a recipient.
Send recently introduced some new features for its free version, including a plug-in for Microsoft Outlook. After downloading the plug-in, users will see a small “send” button in their Outlook program. Users can type messages into Outlook as they normally would. After hitting the Send icon, messages are automatically sent through Send’s secure process. Send also provides the options to keep sent messages in Outlook’s sent box in unencrypted form.
Send’s new Pro version permits the sending of 200 messages per day, as opposed to just 20 with the free version. Other features include the ability to send larger attachments and to audit messages, or to learn when they have been opened, for example. It costs $5 per user per month.
With an ever increasing array of regulations and laws surrounding privacy, Send could be particularly useful for small- or medium-sized businesses in highly regulated industries. The free version could offer all the added security such businesses need.
Pros. Easy to use with a free basic version. Works inside Microsoft Outlook.
Cons. The free version limits users to 20 daily messages, and offers limited message formatting capabilities.
Where to get it. Send can be found at sendinc.com and elsewhere online. The basic version is free with a new Pro offering costing $5 per user per month.