Briefile: Protecting Confidential Information

Software / Open Source Web 2.0

Briefile is a site designed around protecting your confidential data. Basically, you have to install client software on your computer as does the person to whom you are sending your confidential info (much like sending/receiving PDF files, you would both need Acrobat Reader). When you send data through the Briefile interface, it allows the other side to view and use the file with restrictions you’ve put in place, such as no printing, no print screen, no copy/paste, time limit, etc. The data is encrypted, online, and destroyed after a certain amount of time that you specify. The company charges you on a per file basis (the first ten are free). Here’s what I think about it:

The idea has promise, but the site needs work to boost my confidence in its services. It looks dated in a Windows 98 sort of way. And if I needed this kind of service, I would want to see testimonials before using it for anything really confidential. Also, the site has a few typos here and there (never a good thing).

But I did install the software and play with it for a bit. It seems to work fine. I’m not really part of the target market segment; I don’t see myself needing to send self-destructing, extremely closed files to anyone. But I could see how it could be useful for certain documents.

If the company could freshen up its online image and throw in some testimonials in the next release, I could see potential.

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