Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Microsoft BizSpark Features Send Files Securely

In case you missed it, Microsoft's BizSpark program featured us today-


This program has been an incredibly useful resource in helping Send Files Securely. If you have a startup business that leverages some of Microsoft's technologies, you might consider looking into what being a part of BizSpark can do for you.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

What types of files are sent using Send Files Securely?

Send Files Securely can be used to send any type of file. In speaking with our users, there is a wide range of files sent using our service. Here is a list in no particular order of some of the types of files people are sending securely:

  • Tax Documents
  • Loan Documents
  • Real Estate Documents
  • Legal Documents
  • Financial Statements
  • Credit Reports
  • Signed Form Copies
  • Private Messages
  • Personal Photos & Videos
  • Proprietary code
  • Office Documents
  • Or any other file!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Email Insecurity as Explained by Steve Gibson

If you've visited the Send Files Securely website, then you are already aware that email is not secure (e.g. Are email attachments secure?). Steve Gibson also explained this on Security Now Episode 408 (see video clip below).
As an alternative to sending private files over email, you can use Send Files Securely. All files uploaded will be encrypted and by adding a password you can ensure that only those you authorize can download and view the file.This solves the problems Steve is referring to in this video clip.

Friday, September 13, 2013

A Tale of Two Encrypted Files

There are various ways in which one can encrypt data. Some encryption schemes are better than others. For example, some encryption schemes produce the same result given the same input. Using this type of encryption could prove to be weak as it may allow someone to determine the original contents of the encrypted data based on similarities found in the encrypted results.

Send Files Securely implements an encryption scheme that ensures that every uploaded file will produce a different encrypted result. Even if you upload identical files, the encrypted form of each of these files will be completely different. This is achieved by including random data during the key creation and encryption process. This random data is referred to as a salt and an initialization vector.

Continuing from the example provided in my last blog post, What does an encrypted file look like?, suppose you upload a file containing your account number-

The first time you upload it, the encrypted result may look like the following-

But uploading the exact same file a second time, the result will be completely different-

Send Files Securely implements the latest in cryptographic standards and practices. By using a mode of AES encryption that is guaranteed to produce unique encrypted results, your private data is better protected and safeguarded. Upload and send your files securely today!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

What does an encrypted file look like?

You already know that you should send your confidential files securely. And you've heard about encryption. But what does encryption do and how does it secure your files and protect your data?
At a high level, encryption is the process of converting readable data into unreadable data. The idea being that you don't want eavesdroppers or hackers to be able to view your data. There are many ways to complete this conversion process. The recommended approach is to use an existing method that has been developed by cryptographers and mathematicians (as opposed to creating your own). Send Files Securely has selected one of the strongest and most popular encryption algorithms, the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES).

So, what does an encrypted file look like after it has been uploaded using Send Files Securely?
Suppose this is the file you are sending and it contains your account number-

Upon uploading this file at SendFilesSecurely.com, your file would be securely transmitted over an encrypted channel (SSL/TLS) and automatically encrypted (AES). The result would be a secured, unreadable file stored at our secure storage facility-

Files remain in an encrypted state until they are downloaded, at which point a readable (decrypted) version of the file is transmitted to the recipient over an encrypted channel.

The example above is for a simple text file, however, the encryption process is the exact same for any type of file, whether it's a 500 page report, an image, an audio/video file, or anything else. 

Send Files Securely handles all of the encryption for you providing a simple, yet secure way to transfer your files safely over the Internet.

*Note- In addition to encrypting the file itself, Send Files Securely also encrypts the file name since it too may contain confidential information.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

SSL Labs Report SendFilesSecurely.com = A

In its SSL/TLS Deployment Best Practices document, Qualys SSL Labs states the following:
SSL/TLS is a deceptively simple technology. It is easy to deploy, and it just works… except that it does not, really. The first part is true—SSL is easy to deploy—but it turns out that it is not easy to deploy correctly. To ensure that SSL provides the necessary security, users must put extra effort into properly configuring their servers.
This is true. SSL certificates can be obtained from many different companies and are relatively easy to install. Technically speaking, an SSL certificate is an SSL certificate. Meaning, whether the certificate is bought from Company A or Company B or costs $X or $XXX, the underlying technology is the same.  However, as Qualys SSL Labs points out, there are some extra configurations that should be implemented in order to provide the best security possible.

Qualys SSL Labs has made public an SSL Server Test that anyone can use to analyze the SSL configuration of any website. Send Files Securely recently ran this test against our own site and are proud to have received an A rating!

View the complete report

So go ahead, upload your files with confidence at https://www.sendfilessecurely.com!

Monday, August 19, 2013

It's All About Trust

Trust is a very important issue when it comes to security. Each of us places some kind of trust in every website we interact with. You enter your email, credit card number, and other personal information in many websites, but do you really know what they are doing with it? Are they sufficiently protecting it? Unfortunately, as we have seen in recent news, not all companies or websites take the right steps to protect your data.

Send Files Securely was created with security as the number one goal. Files uploaded using our website are protected from the moment they leave your computer to the moment they are downloaded using the highest of industry cryptographic standards. Files are stored in an encrypted state. User-entered file passwords are never stored and are required in order to decrypt their respective file. This means that we cannot view these password protected files. In fact, even "if" a hacker obtained a file stored on our servers, it would be useless to them since each file is securely encrypted. To learn more about this and other security practices implemented by our services see the Technical Security Overview.

We hope that you trust us and understand that we have gone to great lengths to provide an easy to use, but most importantly a secure service to send files over the Internet.

If you have any additional questions about our services, please feel free to leave a comment below or send an email to email[AT]SendFilesSecurely[DOT]com.

Friday, August 16, 2013

How to Send Secure Email Attachments

Are you questioning the security of your email attachments? Good for you! Email and email attachments are not secure. For this reason, we've provided our online service at Send Files Securely. Instead of attaching files to your email, follow these three steps to send files securely:
  1. Upload your file using the secure file form (optionally, you may add a secret password for your file).
  2. Copy the provided link to your file and email this to the recipient(s) of the file.
  3. If a password was provided, communicate the file's secret password to the recipient(s).
The recipient of your email will visit the link you've sent, enter the file password if applicable, and instantly download your file.

Be sure to visit SendFilesSecurely.com the next time you need to send a secure email attachment.

Sending Files Securely Over the Internet - No Software to Install

Search the web and you'll find many ideas on how to send files securely over the Internet. Many of the solutions require you and your recipient to download and install software, create encryption keys, configure email clients, etc. It's time consuming, inconvenient, and difficult for the average user. Isn't there a better way?

Yes and Send Files Securely provides that solution. Send Files Securely is a free, secure online service for sending files. There's no software to install, no encryption keys to worry about, and no configuration needed. You just upload your file and we take care of the rest. It's really that simple and it's really secure (for more information see Why Use Send Files Securely and the Technical Security Overview). Follow these three steps to send files securely:

  1. Upload your file using the secure file form (although optional, it's recommended that you add a secret password for your file).
  2. Copy the provided link to your file and email this to the recipient(s) of the file.
  3. If a password was provided, communicate the file's secret password to the recipient(s).  

The recipient of your email will visit the link you've sent, enter the file password if applicable, and instantly download your file.

Ready to send files securely? Start here by uploading your file now!

Top Reasons Email Isn't Secure

Insecure Connections

Some browser-based email services provide secure connections while viewing email, but some do not. If the URL doesn't start with https:// (the "s" being the important part), then you are not using a secure connection and an eavesdropper could view everything you send and receive.

Email Route

In most cases, after clicking the "Send" button your email will travel out on the open Internet passing through various devices before finally ending up at the recipient's server. Has your email been stored or viewed along the way? Who knows? Your guess is as good as ours, but just like sending a postcard, you should probably expect that it could be viewed along the way.

Sent Items

Many email providers automatically save your sent emails in a separate folder. If you don't actively delete these saved sent emails, then it becomes an easily accessible archive of everything you've sent. If someone gains access to your email account, they could view these items. Additionally, these items are stored on your email provider's servers.

Recipient's Inbox 

OK, so your email has made its way to its recipient's inbox. She has read it and it is now stored with all of her other read emails. Let's say she accidentally left her email account logged in on a shared/public computer. The next person to use that computer now has access to all of her emails including the confidential email you recently sent her. This is just one scenario, but the idea is that you have no control over the email stored in someone else's account.

Send Files Securely is the perfect solution to insecure email attachments! The next time you need to send a file containing confidential information, don't email it. Instead, upload it at https://www.SendFilesSecurely.com and email the link to your secured file.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Send Files Securely - New & Improved

Send Files Securely originally launched in the Fall of 2011. It came about out of the need to send files quickly, easily, and most importantly securely over the Internet. It's been almost two years and the site has served hundreds of users uploading and downloading thousands of files.

In August 2013, Send Files Securely went through a significant upgrade. While focusing on the same secure architecture and technologies, the site moved to the "cloud" (specifically, Microsoft's Windows Azure). Windows Azure provides virtually unlimited possibilities in computing resources and storage capacity. This means better service for users now and well into the future.

The site also received a new look and many new features. The most notable being the addition of a paid subscription Pro plan in addition to the existing Free plan. For a small monthly fee, Pro users get dedicated storage space for their files, configurable file options, multi-file upload, an upload portal to receive files, and much more.

Two of the most requested features were a progress bar for uploads and the ability to drag and drop files. Both of these features have been added to all plans.

With all of these recent upgrades, Send Files Securely aims to provide the easiest and best way to send files securely online. Click here to check out these new features and start uploading your files today!