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Q: What is KeptPrivate.com?

A: KeptPrivate.com is an email service focused on security and privacy that offers both a Web interface (like HotMail or Yahoo! Mail) and POP/IMAP/SMTP access (like the email accounts provided by an ISP). View some screen shots of the service

Q: Why isn't the service free?

A: KeptPrivate.com is not for everyone. It is for anyone who is serious about security and prefers the convenience of Web email. For $34.95 per year / $9.95 per 3 months, you will receive 100 MB of storage space, great customer service and you also won't be competing with millions of other users for an account name and access to the servers.

Q: How secure is it?

A: All access to your email is done over SSL with a 2048bit certificate (the same security strength used for online banking). Additionally, KeptPrivate provides features that allow you to encrypt messages you have stored on the server and also provides "Closed Loop" secure messaging between KeptPrivate subscribers and non-subscribers.

Q: What is "Closed Loop" private messaging?

A: Emails to addresses outside of keptprivate.com are normally transmitted as plain text across the Internet. Of course if you are sending a message to another KeptPrivate user the message never leaves the KeptPrivate server. KeptPrivate's web interface lets you send a message to a non-KeptPrivate user that never leaves the KeptPrivate server. When you are done composing your email you can check a box called "Send Private Message" and fill in a password. Instead of the message being sent across the Internet only a short message is sent telling the recipient that you have sent them a private message. When the recipient clicks on the link in the short message they are taken to a screen where they must enter the password you assigned when you sent the message. If the passwords match the recipient gets to read the message and view/download any attachments. The recipient can also reply to you through the web interface, again with the message never being sent across the Internet as plain text. Additionally, if I am not a KeptPrivate user but I would like to send a private message to a KeptPrivate user I can go to www.keptprivate.com and access a page that will let me send the message.

In summary, "Closed Loop" private messaging means that as a KeptPrivate.com subscriber I can communicate with non-subscribers and still not ever have the messages transmitted over the Internet as plain text.

Q: What is SSL?

A: SSL stands for Secure Socket Layer and it provides a way for all communication between the KeptPrivate servers and your browser to be encrypted. Most browsers tell you that you are accessing a secure page by displaying a lock.

Q: I've heard my employer is monitoring employee Internet use. Does KeptPrivate somehow prevent that?

A: By using SSL between your PC/browser and the KeptPrivate servers no intermediate parties can easily eavesdrop on the communication and read the messages you are sending or receiving. However, anyone "in the middle" can know that you are communicating with KeptPrivate.com, though again they won't know what you are saying.

Q: What kind of encryption is available on the service?

A: If you are using the Web email interface you can encrypt any messages in your inbox or folders with the Blowfish algorithm. Make sure your pass phrase is long and not easily guessed.

Q: When I login why do I have to enter both a password and a pass phrase?

A: The password is used to access your account. The pass phrase is used only if you want to use the Blowfish encryption features.

Q: Why do I have to enter the pass phrase each time I sign in?

A: For your protection the pass phrase is never stored on the servers. Instead when you login with a pass phrase the pass phrase is passed to each page in an encrypted cookie. Remember that all the communication to the server is also encrypted by the SSL connection so there are two levels of encryption protecting your pass phrase. If the KeptPrivate servers were seized stolen or broken-into all your encrypted messages are safe because they are protected by your pass phase which is not present on the server.

Q: Why do you use Cookies, I thought they were a security problem?

A: This is a myth. Cookies are small data items that your browser stores and re-transmits when a server is accessed. KeptPrivate uses cookies only to manage your session and the cookies are only transmitted over SSL.

Q: Why doesn't KeptPrivate use PGP?

A: PGP is intended for secure person-to-person communication and it involves public key exchange and management. PGP was not designed or intended for Web email systems and it does not work well in the Web environment because all decryption requires access to your private key. Your private key should never be sent over the Internet. You can use PGP on top of the security features provided by KeptPrivate.com for the ultimate in security.

Q: Can I check my email on my Palm Pilot?

A: Yes you can, and securely too. If you use the Eudora Internet Suite for Palm it supports POP3 access over SSL.

Q: How can I pay?

A: We accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover online (Pay Pal soon). In addition, we have a form that you can FAX or Mail. If you would like to subscribe by credit card over the telephone please call (305) 531-3206 (hours: 9-5 US EST, GMT -5). You can subscribe for 3 Months for $9.95. When your subscription is close to expiring we will send an email reminder to your keptprivate.com address so that you can extend it.


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