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Send a secure email that self-destructs

(MoneyWatch) COMMENTARY I'm surprised about the number of questions I get from readers asking for email solutions that sound better suited to a spy. Specifically, a lot of people want secure emails that self-destruct -- in other words, messages that don't linger on email servers, where they can be intercepted, hacked, stolen, or even subpoenaed. Most email, you see, lives on more or less forever, even after you delete it from your PC.

Well, I have some good news for you. No matter if you work in MI-6 or are just looking for a way to send messages to your start-up co-founder which you know are utterly secure, give Burn Note a look.

Burn Note is a web app designed to send private, read-once messages which self-destruct and utterly vanish from the Internet. To use it, visit the site and write your message. When you click send, you immediately get a URL that you can share. When the recipient clicks the URL, they can read the message, but after a short time -- three minutes by default -- the message expires, at which time it's deleted from the server. At that point, it's gone and cannot be recovered.

The service includes a few extra options, like the ability top password protect your message, and to prevent the message from being copied to the clipboard. You can also vary the amount of time between when the message is opened and when it's "burned."

Burn Note is an interesting technology that, like some other self-destructing emails I've told you about in the past, could usher in a whole new privacy and security model on the Internet.

Photo courtesy Flickr user AJ Cann

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