Ever emailed someone a password? Ever had to send a family member your credit card number? How about, did you ever send some information by email that you wish, maybe, you could take back (lookin’ at you, Scarlett)?
People are sending more and more sensitive data to each other over the Internet with less and less thought as to what it means, and Brooklynite Dan Petruzzi and his North Carolina-based partner Jerry Thompson are trying to help. “In this technological age, we are more and more accustomed to sharing information with each other digitally, whether it be over email, text message, or chat,” the pair told Betabeat by email. ” What we often don’t think about is that this leaves a data trail, especially considering how many of us don’t delete our incoming or sent messages. Should you lose your phone or computer, or have it stolen or hacked, this data can easily be retrieved and unfortunately used against you.”
So Mr. Petruzzi and Mr. Thompson built Oneshar.es, a web and mobile app released in January that encrypts messages so they can be viewed one time only. Open the message and it self-destructs.
Oneshar.es isn’t the first to think of the idea, or the second. Nor does the app prevent a recipient from taking a screenshot or copying down the information. But the app, at $.99, has had more than 400 downloads in a week and a hit in the pre-eminent social media news journal Mashable.
Mr. Petruzzi, the marketing and public relations half of the duo, is a self-described “tech guy” with an ear toward the music business; “media platform running maniac,” he calls himself. He works on Okayplayer, a web portal The Roots started in 1999 that spans a network of music-related and genre-specific sites. Mr. Petruzzi also works at the record label / creative agency Decon, which is handling the relaunch of trendy (and defunct) New York culture and hip hop magazine Mass Appeal. We forgot to ask him about the apparent grammar discrepancy between “one” and “shares.”
The pair have been collaborating remotely for a decade, and they’re always sending each other “login credentials, credit card information, and more.” So yeah, they’re eating the dog food.
Does Oneshar.es have a cool animation where the message explodes? Betabeat wanted to know.
“We wanted to be clever with the language but the premise is actually very serious, the sharing of sensitive information,” the developers wrote in response. “We didn’t want to get too cute with animations or graphics. It’s more utilitarian.” The Secretary approves.