Internet privacy and security course
Aa font
AA font size
About translation
Previous Next

Chapter 65

SMS messages that self-destruct. How to check if your SMS are being read.

SMS that self-destruct

In the first part of this chapter we mentioned the security issues of SMS, in the second part, we revealed how to send SMS anonymously. In this part, we will show you how to protect your messages.

Today, with the capability of smartphones to open links for viewing websites, users can use one-time-use notes, the same we used for disrupting the continuity of correspondence.

To create notes that self-destruct, we will be using the service. Privnote allows you to send notes that get destroyed after being read. We have already mentioned how Privnote works in detail in this chapter. You create a text via Privnote while sending a link to the one-time-use note to your intended recipient. 

A Privnote web link is the URL of the website/note’s identifier#user’s decryption key. A user’s decryption key is stored in the link in the form of anchor. The anchor part is the part of the URL after the hash sign (#) and is never sent to the server (RFC by URL, Section 2.4.1). Browser doesn’t send this part of the link, and server doesn’t receive it, as a result, the decryption key is kept on user’s computer until he or she wishes otherwise. In theory, Privnote’s owners are unable to decrypt your note.

A list of one-time-use message services that work on the same principle as Privnote includes and among others.

A one-time-use note can’t defend you from your message getting intercepted and read, but it renders the untraceable reading of the note impossible. In addition, storing a used one-time-use link to the note at the operator or on a phone doesn’t entail risks for you since reading the note again is impossible.

Protecting SMS from getting intercepted

If you want to protect your SMS from interception, when you create a one-time note, set a password that will make viewing your confidential information impossible. Naturally, your recipient should know this password.


Protect your SMS from being intercepted.

In this course, we don’t recommend you sending all your information via Privnote. Instead, you can break down the information you send into portions when one part of the information is sent exposed, while the other part– via a one-time-use message service. As a result, an attacker is unable to access the complete information.

Privnote has an obvious advantage: even if your recipient’s device is accessed by an attacker, and he attempts blackmailing you with your messages, he won’t be able to restore the information in its entirety, read the messages that were delivered via Privnote.



Break down the information you send into portions.

Checking if your SMS messages are being read

You can use a trap for hackers to check if your SMS are being snooped on by intruders. This method comes down to creating a link-trap that will be added to your message. The opening of such link will instantly alert the sender by an email notification. The recipient should be notified that this message is bait and that he or she should refrain from clicking the link.

If your text messages are being read, an attacker will want to view the contents of the bait. By doing so, he will reveal himself, and you will know that someone else is snooping on your confidential information.


Check if someone else is reading your correspondence.