In order to understand how shared host-proof hosting works, we need a quick overview of host-proof hosting – what it is and why it has gained such standing in online privacy matters.
The Need For Privacy Online
Whenever you send anything over the internet, your data is exposed. The sites you visit, emails you send, videos you watch all become part of the vast web. Your info travels across many networks until it finally reaches its destination but how safe is it really when via transit and when it reaches its recipient?
Rule of thumb – information that you send in a standard email is just like writing info on a postcard. It can be seen by anyone with the right tools and the wrong intentions.
The Need For Host-Proof Hosting
Some things can be written on a postcard:
- appointment reminders
- birthday wishes/friendly letters
- casual documents
Some things can’t be written on a postcard:
- confidential information
- PIN numbers
This is where host-proof hosting comes in. Host-proof hosting is a security pattern which allows you to encrpyt your data before it even leaves your browser. Client-side encryption ensures 100% data privacy so sensitive info like your passwords, can have a safe trip across the web and remain just as safe on the server.
For more info on host-proof hosting, take a quick look at this post.
It wouldn’t make much sense to have a web based on host-proof hosting or encryption, especially in a social web. Online identities are created by what we post to the net. There are certain things we want to share. There are certain things we want to keep private. And there are certain things that we want to share AND keep private.
Here’s where privacy and sharing become important
- you and your colleague(s) need to access the same merchant accounts
- you and your spouse both access online accounts for the ‘household’
- you manage several different clients and you need to share certain web accounts
What do all of these scenarios have in common? Each one of them sees the need to share sensitive info in a secure way. How do you do that on the web without just sending a password or access code via email or skype?
Ideally you would find a way to send delicate info to one other person so that only you two can read it and no one else. How would that work?
Shared Host-Proof Hosting
Shared Host-Proof Hosting is the basis for Passpack Secure Messaging and Passpack Sending Password Entries where you can send passwords, password entries, notes and more in complete confidentiality. This means that only sender and recipient can read what is sent.
Shared Host-Proof Hosting is a security pattern based on Host-proof Hosting which uses both 1024 bit RSA public and private keys as well as AES 192bit encryption and it works more or less like this:
Jane wants to send Jack a message. First she needs to generate her set of RSA public and private keys and so does Jack. This may sound difficult but not to worry, it is all done automatically
just by pressing a button. Ah, the wonders of modern technology! She and he do this one time only and these keys are how sharing is made possible.
Then Jane needs to invite Jack to her Ring of Trust, a series of trusted contacts that Jane has chosen. Jane sends Jack the AES 192bit key they will use to exchange messages from that point on. She does this by using Jack’s RSA public key.
Once Jack receives this, he decrypts it using his RSA private key. Then both Jane and Jack have the same AES key to forever exchange messages. This means that all encryption is done on the client-side, as well as all decryption.
All of this generating, encrypting and decrypting happens ‘behind the scenes’ so don’t worry, neither Jane, Jack or you need a degree in cryptology in order to feel safe online : )
Say That Again?
In simple terms, if Jane wants to send something to Jack and doesn’t want anyone to read it in transit, or when it is on the server she sends the info encrypted.
Jack needs to decrypt the info Jane sends and vice versa in a way that only he can read it and no one else. So when they first decide to “be friends” and enter into each other’s Ring of Trust, they have personalized “keys” created which they will later use to decipher what the coded/encrypted/private message is they are receiving.
And from then on they are able to easily exchange sensitive info at liberty without worrying about who else can see it.
Now keep your friends close and your passwords closer. And start sharing the right info with the right people.