Ask Darin Myman about an email that should never have been sent, and he likely will tell you about a friend who was caught cheating on his wife when she examined the contents of his sent email. Of course Darin himself, like almost everyone who uses email regularly, must have made his own email mistakes – perhaps a wrong attachment, a wrong email address (autofill is a convenience, but you really have to pay attention!), unintentional use of ‘reply all’, or indiscreet contents that might be regretted only nanoseconds after clicking the ‘send’ button. But even though his mistakes may not have experienced the same degree of consequences as his red-handed friend’s, they were enough to inspire Darin to do something about the problem, and that is how he came up with the idea for BigString.
BigString Corporation (http://www.BigString.com) now offers BigString 3.0, a web-based email service that gives the user control over sent mail – even once the mail is delivered to the recipient. BigString.com webmail service is the only service that offers this. This type of feature is already familiar to users of certain email services, such as AOL mail. In AOL, however – as in any other mail system – this can only be done within the AOL network (i.e. if the recipient is also using an AOL address) and only if the email is not opened. However, the idea that you could reach out to a different server and snatch back your errant emails at any time, from any place, is a function that was not available until now.
The name ‘BigString’ deliberately evokes an image of a long string, attached to your sent emails, that you can pull on to yank back an email that you should never have sent. Of course this is a transparent process – composing and sending an email is just like doing so in, say, Yahoo Mail or Gmail, except that the sender can also choose different security options. Also like its well-known competitors, BigString 3.0 includes traditional email features, such as: Sticky Notes, Automatic Message Highlighting, Calendar, Advanced Message Sorting and Advanced Spam and Virus Filtering. Under the covers, though, it’s actually more like sending out the end of the string, while you keep the email contents, retaining the ability to cut the string and remove access to any secure material from the outside world.
BigString has clearly given some thought to the various ways that this technology might be used. One option is to have an email ‘self-destruct’ (along with your choice of visual effects, such as a little bonfire) after a certain amount of time, or after having been read a certain number of times. Or, you can specify that the email is non-forwardable, non-printable, or non-savable. This can help ensure that the embarrassing video you sent to a friend doesn’t end up posted on YouTube. You can make he email trackable, so you know if and when it been opened and forwarded. And most intriguing of all, you can edit mail after it has been sent, or substitute one attachment for another. This feature is especially useful for emails that have time-sensitive price quotes, business offers or dated legal material.
Free video email is another offering on BigString.com’s long list of great free features. Bigstring.com offers all of its users a free video email forum where people can send out audio/visual greetings and messages to anyone and any webmail service throughout the world. This is a fun feature that is also hard to come by for free.
Secure email is a natural feature for BigString to offer. “Our customers, both consumer and businesses alike, have told us that they want even greater email security and control for their sensitive correspondence,” says Darin. “With our Three Layer Secure email, we are enabling the sender to have that additional control and security. Now users can freely communicate via email with their lawyers, accountants, stockbrokers or anyone they want to send sensitive, personal or proprietary information without the worry that it will be seen or forwarded to anyone but the intended recipient. Their confidential emails will stay confidential.”
BigString, like many webmail services, provides its users with a free email account and a free email address, including a generous 4 Gb of storage . It also provides the ability to send free embedded video emails up to 10 minutes in length, a feature not available with most other free email services. In addition, there are certain premium services targeted at small business and more demanding users. For a low monthly fee, BigString offers users the ability to increase their Video Email capabilities and storage capacity. Small businesses can set up their own email system (10 email accounts and up) using the BigString email service, which is POP3 compatible to allow its use with email clients such as Outlook. Premium customers can also add video email marketing tools.
Darin’s inspiration to protect himself from indiscretions (like the one that tripped up his friend with the marital infidelity problem) has yielded a product that will be useful to anyone who values privacy, security, and freedom from one more of modern life’s worries.