I’ve just been reading about a new mobile application named Strings. The developers claim that they “wanted a way to spontaneously and fearlessly share everything from our most intimate moments and personal thoughts to our daily conversations with friends, family and colleagues.” And then presumably to delete these when they sober up the next morning.
As much as I wish Strings success with their new venture, I can’t help thinking that we’ve seen similar apps in the past, including On Second Thought and Invisible Text. The most successful of these has probably been Snapchat, a messaging app that allows the sharing of videos and images that supposedly "disappear" after a short period of time, usually after just a few seconds. In a scandal that broke last October, it was discovered that a third-party Snapchat client app has been collecting every single photo and video file sent through it for years, giving hackers access to a 13GB library of Snapchats that users thought had been deleted.
Just as there are times we wish we could snatch unfortunate verbal utterances from the air and stuff them back into our mouths, a holy-grail of email has always been the search for a method to recall emails we wish we’d never sent. I seem to remember that Microsoft Outlook had the facility to send a recall notice. For years, I worked for a large multinational company whose HR department loved to send out these recall notices, usually about once a week. Here’s a typical scenario: Jimmy Jones would send out a long missive about something profoundly boring and – predictably - with the wrong attachment. Five minutes later he would generate a second email with a subject line that read:
Jimmy Jones would like to recall his email “Don’t Forget About The Superhero Comic Convention Tomorrow.”
Then five minutes later, a third email would inform me that the convention was the day after tomorrow, and hopefully include the correct attachment. Although these emails did provide some value - they gave us someone to laugh at - I always felt that these recall notices simply drew our attention to the incompetence of the sender. Why didn’t Jimmy check his facts before sending the first email?
There is a potentially ominous side to this though: if Jimmy and his colleagues were making these mistakes with harmless though time-wasting information, how often were they – and countless other colleagues throughout the business – making mistakes with confidential company information. As much as we try to guard against sending confidential information to the wrong person, we all lead busy and stressful working lives. Without some form of automated help, it is almost certain that an occasional wrong email or attachment will be sent to the wrong person, leading to a data leak.
ZixDLP can monitor all your outbound emails in real-time to guard against such data leaks. ZixDLP combines tried and tested policy and content scanning capabilities with an intuitive quarantine interface, giving you a second chance to review suspect emails – and to avoid having any more regrets.
You can read more here.