Privnote’s encrypted messaging guide for beginners

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To share your private note, you paste the unique URL into an email, messaging app, or social media post. For ultimate privacy, avoid sharing the URL through channels that log messages. For example, sending the Privnote URL via your work email could allow your employer to access the message. Messaging apps may store chat logs on their servers. For sensitive information, use an encrypted messaging app like Signal or WhatsApp to share the private note URL. Or consider using Privnote’s email forwarding if you need to send the link through regular email.

Setting a password

You add an extra layer of security to Privnote messages by setting a password. When creating a new note, check the “Protect with password” box, then enter the password you want. The recipient will need this password to unlock and view the private note. Don’t share sensitive passwords through unencrypted channels. Use a separate encrypted message to share the password itself. With a password set, the note link becomes fully end-to-end encrypted. Not even Privnote decrypt and access the contents without the password.

Expiration time

By default, Privnote messages expire after being read once. But, you customize the expiration time when creating a note. Read once – Message deleted immediately after the recipient opens the link. Best for one-time access.

  • 1 day – Note link will expire after 24 hours, regardless of being read. Useful for short-term sharing.
  • 1 week – Expires after 7 days. Good for notes you may need to access multiple times within a week.
  • 1 month – Link stays active for 30 days then deletes. Helpful for ongoing references.
  • Never – Disables expiration, so note won’t be lost. Avoid indefinite access to sensitive data.

Set an expiration that suits your privacy needs. Shorter times minimize exposure while longer durations allow flexibility.

Sending documents

Privnote lets you embed files within private notes. If you are creating a new message, click “Attach file” under the secure text box. You upload documents (PDFs, Word files), images, audio clips, and videos up to 100MB each. Multiple files appear in one note. They will combine into a single encrypted URL for easy sharing. Embedded files encrypt like regular note content. The recipient needs to open the link to decrypt and download the attachments.

Using email forwarding

When creating a new note, toggle the “Forward through your email” switch. Type in your email address and hit “Create Private Note”. Instead of a standard note link, Privnote will generate an email forward prompt. Follow the instructions to authenticate and send the encrypted message to your email. You then forward this email to contacts normally. The message content stays protected since only your email account accesses the encrypted forwarded note.

Message history

Unlike many encrypted messaging apps, Privnote does not store any message history. Each note disappears after it expires or once read. Privnote’s servers temporarily handle the encrypted data in transmission but don’t retain any permanent records. No chat logs, metadata, or identifiers exist on their end. While this means you can’t view past notes, it provides excellent privacy. Be sure to copy or screenshot important Privnote messages if you may need to reference them again later.