And Mr. Hunt, the next time you go on holiday, please be good enough to let us know where you’re going. This message will self-destruct in five seconds.
These words ring any bells? One cannot forget Ethan Hunt (or Tom Cruise!) vacationing by climbing impossible cliffs! Back then, this technology was far-fetched. But now, we hold it in our hands. Everyday. Yes, in the form of Snapchat that destroys pictures when the timer times out. Definitely, it has captured a lot of fans by this service, but do you not think there can be more good derived using this strategy of self-destructing files, perhaps accomplishing few impossible confidential missions like Ethan Hunt?
Want to share your resume over the Internet yet ensure it can’t be copied, re-shared or, wait for it, screenshot? Companies would want to share blueprints of projects to outsourced firms while ensuring the designs aren’t disclosed to competitors. Contractors might want to send specifications to bidders but ensure a permanent copy only for the winner. Hotels may want to share brochures with clients yet not allow them to copy contents and search for hotels that offer same service at a cheaper price. A start-up holding offices in Singapore and Silicon Valley has given this a shot. “It’s like a Snapchat for business content,” says founder and chief executive Augustine Lim. This app focuses on documents, images, PDFs, Microsoft Office files.
How efficient is Digify?
However, unlike Snapchat, Digify doesn’t let the files get stored on the receiver’s device. Instead, it resides in the server. This is because files that are loaded in the receiver’s device, even if deleted, can be retrieved with forensic software. Screen-capturing in the iOS app alers the sender and revokes access rights of the user immediately. Even the mobile versions do the same. Android and desktop versions are one step ahead as they disable the screen capture whenever the receiver is viewing the document. To tighten security, the app prevents from being run in a virtual machine as screen capture can be enables from outside the machine.
One might think, what if I just use a camera to take pictures of these self-destructing files before the timer sets off. Very cool, bro! Of course, that is very much possible. No security is that foolproof. Or is it? Well, let’s say that Digify are working on that. They are exploring ways to add watermarks that can act as psychological barriers to that. What if I open my device at a competitor’s desk and he can view it as long as the timer seems ticking? This is very much possible too! Even people who can copy fast, people who can memorize fast are threats to the purpose of this app. But nonetheless, they are aiming to cover all these aspects ASAP.
Digify for you
Available on iOS, Android, PC, and Mac (private beta), it is free to use. You can download the app, connect to Dropbox, choose a file, set a time limit, and there you are! Of course, for all you non-Dropbox users, you can use the app for your Microsoft office files as well. Google Drive and Box services will be added soon, the company assures.
You always have statistics in your hand. You will know who has viewed your file, how often and for how long. Once you suspect malice, you can unshared them any time before the timer ends!