This security app automatically encrypts your shared files for you

In this post-PRISM world, basically everyone is worried about privacy (and rightly so!) — especially when it comes to cloud-based storage. Offloading your files to the likes of Dropbox doesn’t come without a share of caveats regarding security, so that’s wherePlaces comes in. What sets the startup’s service apart from its peers, according to TechCrunch, is local, automatic, end-to-end encryption for your documents and media. There apparently isn’t another step you need to take between uploading the video of your toddler’s first steps and it being securely locked away.

Places is a privacy-centric startup that’s building a secure Dropbox-style platform for file sharing and messaging — but one that has end-to-end, client-side encryption built in. It’s currently launched in early alpha and is inviting people to sign up for a forthcoming beta at (The alpha is also open to Windows and Mac OS users.) Dropbox does not do encryption locally, so can’t offer end-to-end encryption, although it’s worth noting that it’s possible to add a third-party service to your Dropbox account to gain that extra layer of security. Still, most people aren’t going to bother taking the extra step since it requires effort to do so. Places, by contrast, begins from a secure base, with PGP end-to-end encryption, using RSA 2048 and AES 256. Another twist is it’s also seeking to disrupt the server-client architecture of existing sharing platforms by enabling users to host their own content. With Places, the user’s content can be stored and served from their own Mac, PC or Linux machine. Places does have centralized servers, too, to serve encrypted content when a user’s own machine is off or otherwise unreachable. But it does not hold the encryption keys so can’t access that content. The Places software also synchronizes content across Places’ desktop and mobile apps (currently it has a standalone iOS app).

Categorized as Apps

By Michio Hasai

+Michio Hasai is a social strategist and car guy. Find him on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

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