Maybe you’re planning a surprise party. Perhaps you’re involved in a plot to take back the internet for puppies because those damn lolcatz are just getting too much airtime. Or maybe you’re having a steamy affair that will lead to potential national security breaches and result in you resigning your position as Director of the CIA…. Either way, sometimes we need to keep our private correspondence PRIVATE!
Back in the day, private communication meant putting a lock on your diary so your little brother and snooping mother couldn’t read it, or coming up with a complex code and system of signals to send secret messages to your friend.
Does anyone else remember learning Pig Latin, or coming up with picture codes to send notes in class that couldn’t be read by your teacher? Not that I was passing notes instead of paying attention, of course.
Technology makes privacy technical
These days, there are lots of ways we can use technology for private conversations. David Petraeus, aforementioned former Director of the CIA, set up an email account where he saved draft emails as a way of communicating with his secret lover. Seemed like a great system until said secret lover became not-so-secret and all those draft emails hit the media.
Don’t ‘do a Petraeus’, instead, check out these nifty apps and tips.
Setting up a private blog
All the main blogger platforms allow you to set your blog to private, which means your blog and its content can only be accessed by people who have the exact URL and access permissions. Dole out that information with care!
Pinterest has followed LoveIt’s example and now offers private boards so you can digitally scrapbook your favourite pictures and inspirations without fear of prying eyes judging you. Perfect for sharing gift ideas this Christmas without fear of your friends and family finding your ‘naughty or nice’ list!
This message will self destruct in 5…
Have your own ‘Mission Impossible’ moment with ‘Wickr’. Developed by security experts, the app offers data encryption and allows you to send photos, text messages and videos that will self-destruct after a customized deadline. Their tagline of ‘The Internet is Forever. Your private communications don’t have to be’ says it all.
If you’re having one of those ‘for your eyes only’ conversations, iPhone app BlackSMS is for you. You can encrypt your messages with a password so that they appear as a blacked out chat bubble on your screen until they are unlocked using the password.
Alternatively, you can code your secret messages to display as a plain text message, displaying something more mundane to those prying eyes snooping through your text messages.
Private Message apps
All the app stores have different private messaging apps, which allow you to password protect your conversations. They range in price and quality so shop around for one that you like.
Go ‘Tony Soprano’
Don’t use technology at all! Pat down your ‘associates’ before every conversation to make sure they aren’t wearing a wire, or any other recording devices (or a gun, for that matter.) Only meet face-to-face, in a public setting and talk in vaguely threatening metaphors about your ‘friends’, ‘associates’ and ‘problems’. Cheap and effective!
Or, keep schtum
If you don’t want anyone to read it, don’t say it! Also cheap and effective!
Do you have any tips for keeping your private conversations to yourself? Tell us in the comments section below!