When you send a confidential document by email you lose control over it. It could turn up anywhere. But that unsettling state of affairs could be over, thanks to a remarkable messaging system from a company called Pushfor, based, incongruously for a business with global potential, opposite the car park of Morrisons supermarket in Wimbledon. A lot of big businesses, from Deloitte to two Premier League football clubs, are rumoured to be among Pushfor’s early clients.
The Pushfor app, which works on computers and mobile devices, takes its inspiration from Snapchat. It enables you to send documents or messages that can only be viewed on screen for a limited time, controlled by you, after which you can have the material you sent evaporate. Patented technology ensures that if the other side tries to take a screengrab of information you have let them take a peek at, the content disappears and the sender is told who tried to take the screenshot. If you are concerned they might try to photograph the document on-screen, you can opt to make it so they can only view it through a peephole they shift across the text to read. You can also track who has viewed the document, where they are located and how long they spent reading it. Pushfor may seem a paranoid’s dream application, but in a business world where we are obliged to take worrying chances by sending sensitive information across the internet, it is a brilliant security blanket. There’s also a free app for private personal chats.