SMS text messages are convenient but not very private. Once you hit send on a text message, you lose control of that information. The privacy problem with regular SMS messages is that the content can be easily accessed, shared, and stored without your knowledge or permission. Privnote offers a simple solution that allows you to send private messages that can’t be forwarded or saved.
Privacy risks of SMS messaging
Text messages are not encrypted end-to-end by default. It means SMS content is transmitted in plain text over the cellular network and can be intercepted by attackers. Telecom providers have access to your messages and share them with authorities if compelled by a legal request. Your messages are also stored on your phone and your recipient’s phone. If someone gains access to your device, they can easily read through your message history. Once you hit send, you no longer control what happens to that information.
The recipient can take screenshots; forward your messages to others, save them offline, or post them publicly. There’s no way for you to delete a sent message or recall it. For sensitive information like financial details, medical data, private photos, or confidential work documents, SMS messaging offers little privacy protection. Regular text messages do not protect if your goal is to share private information that you don’t want permanently recorded.
Privnote solves the SMS privacy problem
[Privnote](https://privnote.com/) is a free online service that allows you to send self-destructing notes and messages privately. Instead of sending the sensitive content directly through SMS, you generate a unique Privnote link to access the private note. It keeps private information off text messaging networks while still allowing convenient mobile access. Here’s how Privnote works to enable private messaging:
- The message body and any attached images are encrypted before being uploaded to Privnote’s server. It prevents interception or unauthorized access to the private data.
- A random URL is created to access the encrypted note. This link tornote.io is shared however you like – via email, messaging apps, social media, etc. Only someone with the link view the note.
- By default, Privnotes delete themselves after being read once. It stops the recipient from being able to view the note again or share the URL further.
- If the recipient doesn’t open the Privnote promptly, the sender manually revokes access to it at any time. It prevents the private content from falling into the wrong hands.
- Privnote’s server temporarily handles the transfer of the encrypted note between sender and recipient but does not permanently store the content. After the note is accessed, the encrypted data is deleted.
- No copies of the confidential message exist on SMS records, email inboxes, chat logs, or online archives. There’s no evidence the note ever existed for the text message .
This approach allows two parties to exchange private information over an insecure channel like SMS without leaving a permanent record. The private data stays protected end-to-end and the communiqué leaves no trace.