Category Archives: Company & Product News

Secure Messaging Improvement: Notifications

We’ve got a much requested improvement for you on last week’s Secure Messaging and Password Sending releases. No more waiting and frantic clicking the Check for Updates button — Passpack will now send you an email notification when you receive a secure message.

Here’s the complete list of messages that are dispatched:

  • Someone sent you a Secure Message
  • Someone sent you a Password Entry
  • Someone has invited you into their Ring of Trust
  • Someone has replied to an invite-chat
  • Someone has accepted you into their Ring of Trust
  • (alas) Someone has removed you from their Ring of Trust

The first two or three letters of the person’s Community Name will be included in the email as well. The full name is blanked out to protect the other person’s privacy.

(note, there's no link in this email)

(note, there's no link in this email)

What Email is Used?

We’ve set this up on your support email. If you don’t have one set up, you can do so under Settings > Manage Your Email.

Turned On By Default

We usually introduce feature modifications as “turned off” so as not to annoy people already using them. But since being able to know when you have a new message is vital to being able to use messages properly, we’ve flipped that rule round.

So, if you’d like to not email notifications, you can take care of that in Settings > Sharing Options (it’s a little empty looking right now, but we’ll be integrating more improvements over the coming weeks).

Of course, if you don’t have any email set, then none of this will work anyway [wink].

We’re still working full steam on messages and sharing, so keep the feedback coming.
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Meet Jesse & Share Your Thoughts

Hello everybody!  I’m Jesse Middleton (also known as Srcasm on the world wide web) and as you may or may not know, I’m also the newest addition to the Passpack team.  I have been following Passpack since it was a baby password manager (and it still had two capitol letters in it’s name).  I’ve been excited to see features like 3rd party logins, secured messaging and offline support grow out of the product and I’m even more excited to help Passpack and the great team behind the product continue to provide an excellent tool for your web toolkit.

I started my career in the network security field and since then I’ve slowly moved my focus to provide community and technology evangelism with a security twist.  My job is to help you learn how you can use Passpack to better your business and personal life through a security-minded suite of tools.  I want to share with you my simple rule that enables me to help you:

I read, listen and respond to every email, IM and comment you leave for me.  I will also ask you questions to help me understand what you’re looking for from Passpack.

Sounds simple, right?  It is.  And with that, I have my first set of questions for you.  You can answer these securely and privately in the web survey we’ve setup, e-mail me at jesse@passpack.com or simply leave your comments below.

  1. We released the ability to send secure messages last week between Passpack users.  This feature not only allows you to send secret notes to your one true love or other important information to your boss or clients but it’s also the start to building password sharing.  A couple other things that we rolled out with this feature was the “Ring of Trust” and your “community name”.  Your community name is the name by which people who want to add you to their Ring of Trust use to reach you.  We understand that this may be a bit confusing with all of the terms such as the login name, password, packing key and now community name so we’re looking to you for suggestions.  Do you feel that the term “community name” is a good term for this piece of Passpack or would you change it?  What might you change it to and why?
  2. In addition to secured messaging between Passpack users, we will soon be rolling out another great feature — secured messaging to non-Passpack users.  This means that if you need to send your social security number or bank account to your mother that isn’t on Passpack, you can (although we do hope she decides to sign up as well).  In addition to this it means that we may be changing one of our rules.  The welcome email from Passpack currently says:
    “To combat phishing, Passpack does not send emails containing links.”
    Since we’re going to allow you to send secure messages to non-Passpack users, we will be sending those people an email that informs them that they have received a message.  We’d like to know whether or not you’d like this email to contain a direct link to the message or directions that let the person know that they need to go to Passpack.com and enter a verification code from the email.  Do you think we should include the link or no?  What other ways could you see the recipient getting your secure message?
  3. Finally, we’d like to know other thoughts you have on Passpack and our security suite.  Do you like the features that we’ve rolled out with so far?  Would you like to see more or less of something?  This is where you’re ideas, comments and suggestions can help us to build a better product for you.

There you have it.  You can reach the anonymous survey here or you can send me an email and I’ll be sure to get back to you as soon as I possibly can.  Thanks a lot for your continued support in the Passpack community.

Send Your Passwords Securely

Passpack’s recent Secure Messaging release lets you send (encrypted) PINS, links, login names, notes, passwords to people in your Ring of Trust.

I know what you are thinking – why not automate it? We just did! Say hello to sending entries as attachments.

Send a Complete Passpack Entry

Now you can send a copy of a whole entry to someone within your Ring of Trust. So your clients or colleagues only have to click Accept and Save and you’re accessing the same hosting account.

You even have the option of sending your Notes along with the entry. But it is optional – some things you just don’t want to share even within the ‘Ring of Trust’ : )

*Tags not included

Wow! How Do I Get Started?

It works just like Secure Messaging, well because… it is Secure Messaging except now you are sending an attached password entry that is going directly from your Pack to theirs (no worries, it’s just a copy!)

You’ll now notice that your entries will now be equipped with a little Send to link – Press it, choose who you are sending it to and write a quick message explaining the entry or even just to say hello.

Remember, once you press Send Now!, the recipient will have an exact copy of the same entry that is in your account. They can change it if they like. And you can as well. But only send password entries that you are sure you want to share with others.

Make copying and pasting passwords a thing of the past. Send them safe and send them encrypted!

Getting Ready to Leave Beta

Passpack is getting ready to leave Beta. Amazing, but true.

It’s taken a while (lawyers be darned!) but within a week or so the first few days of November, we’ll be releasing Passpack 1.0 together with our first paid upgrade “Pro”. This is the moment we’ve all been waiting for.

Free-For-Now Becomes Free-Forever

I’d like to personally thank the many many users who opted into our Free-for-now promotion. When faced with the question “Would you pay for Passpack?” — you said YES, loud and clear.

To show our gratitude, we’ve decided to extend the promotion indefinitely.

Free-For-Now users can continue to use their accounts.
As-is, for free, forever.

Wise guy alert: no getting smart and trying to squeeze in a free account at the last minute [wink]. As of now, the promotion is over. This is our way of thanking the early adopters. It’s just for them.

The New “Pro” Package

The Free-For-Now deal is mostly just extra passwords, though some folks might have also gotten extra disposable logins (we changed the configurations numerous time). The Pro package is much more than that, and we’ll continue to grow the feature set with time.

With the Free account, you get a little bit of everything. With Pro, you get more. Here’s a look:

You’ll notice that proper password sharing isn’t on the list yet. It will be. Once that technology is available, the Pro package will have (you guessed it) more than the Free account.

Who is Pro For?

Anyone will be able to upgrade, naturally, but as the name implies, we expect that the people who will really need Pro, are people who generally work and collaborate over the internet:

  • Web Developers, Designers & Project Managers
    Share passwords with the team during project development, then send them over to the client upon delivery.
    c
  • Online Traders
    Use secure messaging instead of emails (those password protected PDFs are easily cracked folks).
    .
  • SEO & New Media Marketers
    How many passwords do you have? Yeah, I thought so. You need far more capacity then the average person. Plus messaging is good for chatting with clients on strategy that’s best not left for the competitor to sniff (if the email gets sniffed – they’ll blame you).

How Much is Pro?

€10/year.
(What’s €10 in US Dollars?)

That will go up to €15/year once we complete the package with full password sharing.

Thank you for believing in us!

Passpack Releases Secure Messaging

If you are still not sure how to securely send login information to your clients, the electricity bill account codes to your wife or surprise birthday party information to your friend – now you can send (encrypted) messages to users of your choice with Passpack Secure Messaging!

Redefining Privacy

How much information do you send to colleagues, family and friends over the web everyday? How much of it would you prefer not to? We don’t always have a choice and sometimes certain things that should remain reserved, travel the web for anyone to read. Passpack wants to give you that choice with Secure Messaging. Redenfing privacy is a big task, but Passpack is willing to take that step and lend a hand to help privacy evolve.

Not just anyone will receive your messages – only the people who you choose – those in your Ring of Trust. Your Ring of Trust is sort of like your internal Passpack contact list and should include only the people you know. As much as we love networking sites like Facebook and Myspace, Passpack’s sharing is not designed to work like them. The objective is not accumulating friends – no one would see them anyway! Passpack Messaging gives users a secure means of communication for things that you may have otherwise had to whisper!

Now It’s Up To You!

Your passwords are already protected with Passpack, now your messages can be too. So to start adding people to your Ring of Trust and start exchanging messages, take a look at Dani’s “How to” post.

As we have mentioned before, this is one of the many Passpack features we want to offer you, so you can expect many more additions. As for now, please let us know how you would like us to enhance your Messaging experience.

We work off your feedback so leave us a comment or a suggestion!

The Evolution of Privacy

Online Identity is a topic close to my heart. Passwords may be directly related to authentication — but Passpack’s relationship with Online Identity runs deeper than that.

Let me share with you our ultimate vision for Passpack: in our personal lives, we all have public and private spheres. The latter is completely missing in our virtual life. Passpack wants to give you back your privacy.

What Privacy Is

Privacy is the right to choose what to share, how much of it we want shared and with whom.

Privacy is not secretive. Privacy is not having something to hide. Privacy is not asocial.

Web 2.0, better known as – the social web, is based on a mass collective exchange of information – and one perfect example is lifestreaming.

Your online identity is diffused across various social networking platforms – by nature they are limited in privacy. This is by no means implying such platforms don’t follow privacy standards but applications like Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, FriendFeed are born specifically to share information beyond your ring of contacts.

But, sometimes we need to share things – like personal messages, health records and so much more and we need to share these things with particular people in complete confidentiality. Being able to do so… that is privacy. And it requires one key factor – Trust.

The Ring of Trust

Welcome to The Ring of Trust. It may not sound familiar, because it hasn’t existed until now.

Trust is that area that overlaps public and private. It’s pulling a select person or company into my private sphere long enough to entrust them (and only them) with something. I know that they will keep it confidential and will not share it with others. If they live up to my expectation, they may earn more excursions into my private sphere. Some people earn a permanent slot. But I decide.

As a professional, I need to share sensitive data with my colleagues and not wanting to send it to them by email (knowing they are just like online postcards), I would invite them into my Ring of Trust.

Privacy: Beyond a Concept

Passpack is and always will be an online password manager and now we will also take on the responsibility of being an online privacy manager as well. Privacy is not only made up of passwords, it’s made of people and powered by technology.

This technology is what we have called Shared Host-Proof Hosting*. It finally gives users the unique experience of securely exchanging personal information, adding the necessary private sphere to our (sometimes too) public identities.

I am sure that I am not the only one who has felt the essential need for a new concept of privacy. And now,  we have an answer to fulfill just this need.

Let privacy evolve. Let’s start building our own Ring of Trust.